Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday November 8th through Sunday the 14th.
The moon is at first quarter on Saturday the 13th, so we will have a waxing crescent for most of this week.
Mercury is slowly climbing into the western skies shortly after sunset and is setting about an hour after the sun by the end of the week. Mars is above and to the left of Mercury and is setting a little before 7 p.m. at midweek.
Jupiter is high in the southeast as the sky darkens and is setting at 2:30 a.m. Orion the Hunter, one of the best known of the constellations, is now above the eastern horizon by 9:30 p.m.
In the early morning skies, Saturn is rising at 4 a.m. and Venus is now up about an hour and a half before sunrise.
The EPOXI mission successfully completed its flyby of Comet Hartley 2 last week and returned up-close pictures of the comet's peanut-shaped nucleus. Movies and images are available at the EPOXI website at epoxi.umd.edu
The final launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery has been delayed to at least November 30th as NASA fixes a hydrogen leak and investigates the cause of a crack in the foam insulation that coats the External Tank. More information is available in the space shuttle section of www.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 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 complete football schedule, logon to mackbrown-texasfootball.com. The home game on Saturday November 13th is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. so there will be no viewing that night.
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.