Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday November 6th to Sunday the 12th.
The moon is at third quarter on Sunday the 12th. Look for the moon between the Pleiades and Hyades open star clusters on Monday night.
As we mentioned last week, Mercury will be transiting the Sun this Wednesday. The innermost planet will being crossing the disk of the sun a little after 1 p.m. central time and will reach the other edge after the sun has already set in central Texas. The University of Texas Astronomy Department will have our solar telescope open for as long as we can view the transit. If you would like to attend, please go to the astronomy department website at www.as.utexas.edu and click on the public viewing details link on the right side of the page. If you choose to view the transit on your own, but sure to use a safe method such as projection or a hydrogen-alpha filter made for viewing the sun. Spaceweather.com has links to information and products for safely observing the sun.
Jupiter, Mars and Venus are also near the sun right now and are not visible. Saturn is rising about half an hour after midnight this week.
Public viewing at the 16 inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. RLM is located on the southeast corner of Dean Keeton and Speedway. Take the elevator to the 17th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.
Public viewing at the 9 inch refractor at Painter Hall is on Friday and Saturday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe and is northeast of the UT Tower.
Please note that there will be no public viewing at the Painter Hall telescope on Saturday nights when the UT football team has a home game starting after 5 p.m. Check mackbrown-texasfootball.com for current scheduling information.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that viewing times and availability change throughout the year. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before viewing start time on nights when public viewing is cancelled.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.