skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday November 11th through Sunday November 17th.

The full moon for the month of November on Sunday the 17th so we will have a waxing gibbous moon for all of this week. This full moon is known as the Frost Moon and the Snow Moon.

Venus is still shining brightly in the southwest after sunset and is setting at 8:30 p.m. About an hour later, Jupiter is up in the east and is visible near the twin stars Castor and Pollux of the constellation Gemini.

The remaining three planets visible to the unaided eye are up in the morning hours, with Mars rising first a little before 2 a.m. Mercury follows at 5:30 a.m. and Saturn is emerging from conjunction and is up about half an hour before the sun.

This weekend sees the peak of the Leonid meteor shower, usually one of the better meteor showers of the year. This year, however, the peak coincides with the full moon, which will wash a lot of the meteors you might otherwise have been able to see on a darker night. The Leonids are associated with the debris stream from comet Tempel-Tuttle and get their name because they appear to come from a point in the constellation Leo the Lion.

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 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.