Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday November 10th to Sunday the 16th.
The full moon for the month of November is on Thursday morning, so we will have a waxing gibbous moon for the first half of the week and a waning gibbous moon for the remainder of the week. The full moon of November is sometimes known as the Frost Moon or the Snow Moon. Look for the moon between the Pleiades and Hyades open clusters on the night of the 13th.
Venus and Jupiter continue to be the best planets for early evening observing and also continue to gradually move closer to one another. Venus is setting around 8 p.m. at mid-week with Jupiter following at 9:30 p.m. Mars is still very close to the sun and cannot be observed. Saturn rises at 2:15 a.m. and Mercury is sinking back towards the sun and is rising about 30 to 40 minutes before the sun this week.
The Leonid meteor showers, arguably the most well-known of the regular showers, is due to peak next Monday morning, but activity should start to increase as we go through this week. Unfortunately the bright moon will make this a very unfavorable year for observing this shower. This shower is created when the earth passes through debris left from the comet Tempel-Tuttle.
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.
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.