skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday November 29th through Sunday December 5th.

The new moon for the month of December is on Sunday the 5th so we will have a waning crescent moon for most of this week.

Mercury is at its greatest elongation east on Wednesday the 1st and it will set just a little before 7 p.m. that evening. Mars is barely visible shortly after sunset and is setting at 6:30 p.m. at midweek.

Jupiter is high in the south at 7:30 at midweek and Uranus is still nearby at just 3 degrees to the upper left of Jupiter.

In the morning skies, Saturn is rising at 3 a.m. and Venus is rising at 4 a.m. The crescent moon will be alongside Saturn on Wednesday morning and next to Venus on Thursday morning.

Work continues to ready the Space Shuttle Discovery for its final launch, which is now scheduled for no earlier than Friday December 17th. You can follow the progress online at 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. This week will be the final Wednesday night viewing for the fall semester.

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. This week will be the final Painter Hall viewing for the fall semester.

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.