Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for December 5th through the 11th.
The moon is at first quarter in the morning hours of Thursday the 8th.
Look for a crescent moon above a brilliant Venus in the southwest as the skies darken on Monday. By the 11th, the moon has grown into the waxing gibbous phase and can be seen pairing with Mars in the eastern skies. On that evening, the Moon and Mars will be just over a degree apart.
Saturn is rising by 9:30 p.m. this week. Jupiter climbs above the horizon at around 4:30 a.m., with Mercury following an hour later.
A large sunspot group formed on the sun last week and will be visible near the middle of the sun at the beginning of the week. You can track the sunspot’s progress each day by logging on to www.spaceweather.com
Wednesday night viewing on the Robert Lee Moore Hall has been cancelled for the remainder of the year, since the roof construction continues. We expect to be open as usual for the spring semester, starting in late January.
The Painter Hall telescope is open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe.
This is the final week of public viewing at the Painter Hall Telescope.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that star party times and availability change throughout the year. Please call this recording before planning a visit to the telescopes. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before viewing start time only on nights when star parties are cancelled.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.