skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday November 7th through Sunday November 13th.

The full moon for the month of November is on the night of Thursday the 10th. This full moon is known as the Frost Moon and the Snow Moon.

Mercury and Venus are still close together in the west-southwest after sunset. Look for the orange star Antares of the constellation Scorpius below Mercury and Venus for most of this week. Mercury is setting at 6:45 p.m. at midweek and Venus is setting about 10 minutes later.

Jupiter is rising about an hour before sunset and is visible high in the east as the sky darkens. Look for Jupiter next to the nearly full moon on Wednesday the 9th. Mars is up a little before 1 a.m. this week and is near the bright start Regulus in the constellation Leo the Lion.

On November 8th 2005 YU55, a small asteroid about the side of a few football fields, will pass closer to the Earth than the orbit of the moon, although there is no chance of the rock actually hitting us in the next 100 years. Observations of the asteroid, including some by UT researchers at the McDonald Observatory, will help refine estimates of the size and orbit and help calculate possibilities of impacts further out in time. You can learn more about Near Earth Objects at the programs website: neo.jpl.nasa.gov

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights now 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 now 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. To get to the telescope, take the elevator to the 5th floor and exit to the left. Follow the 5th floor hallway to the end and take the staircase through the double doors on the left. Once you reach the 6th floor, go to your right and follow the signs up to the telescope. Please note that there will be no Painter Telescope viewing on Saturday evenings when the UT football team has a night home game. To check the football schedule, logon to mackbrown-texasfootball.com.

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 the scheduled viewing start time when a viewing is cancelled.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.