skywatchers report

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

The moon is at first quarter on Monday November 7th and won't reach full until next Monday, so we'll have a waxing gibbous moon for all of this week.

Mercury is still too close to the sun to see and is setting just 25 minutes after sunset.

Saturn is now quite low in the west-southwest at sunset and is setting at 7:15 p.m., so there is still a little bit of time in the evening to see it, although it won't be under the best viewing conditions that low in the sky.

Venus is very bright in the southwest shortly after sunset and is setting at 8:00 p.m. at midweek. If you look at Venus in a telescope you will see that it is currently about 75% illuminated.

Mars is up in the south-southwest and is setting at 10:30 p.m. this week.

Jupiter is now rising a little after 4 a.m., almost three hours before sunrise.

In space anniversaries this week, Sunday November 13th marks 45 years since the Mariner 9 spacecraft entered orbit around Mars, becoming the first spacecraft to orbit another planet.  Mariner 9 operated for nearly a year at Mars and among other features it discovered the giant canyon that was named in its honor, the Valles Marineris.

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 now 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. 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 texassports.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 so please check the schedule before planning a visit. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 45 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.