skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday November 22nd through Sunday the 28th.

The moon is at last quarter on the night of Sunday the 28th so we will have a waning gibbous moon for almost all of this week.

Mercury and Mars are visible low in the southwest shortly after sunset and start the week about two degrees apart. During the week Mars will set earlier and earlier, while Mercury continues to rise as it heads towards greatest elongation. At midweek Mars is setting at 6:30 p.m. and Mercury sets at 6:45 p.m.

Jupiter is visible high in the southeast as the sky darkens and is high in the south at 8 p.m. Jupiter sets at 1:45 a.m. at midweek.

Saturn is rising a little after 3 a.m., followed by Venus at 4:20 a.m. at midweek.

Now that we're headed closer to winter, some great objects for binocular or small telescope viewing are coming in to view in the early evenings. The Hyades and Pleiades open star clusters in Taurus are now well above the horizon by 8 p.m. and Orion is up in the east by 10 p.m.

Work continues to ready the Space Shuttle Discovery for its final launch, which is now scheduled for Friday December 3rd. You can follow the progress online at nasa.gov

There will be no public viewing on the UT campus telescope this week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. Next week will be the final week of public viewing for the fall semester. Spring viewing will resume in late January.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.