Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday February 1st through Sunday February 7th.
The moon was at third quarter late on the night of Sunday January 31st into the morning of Monday February 1st and will reach new on Monday February 8th, so we'll have a waning crescent moon in the early morning skies for all of this week.
Jupiter is rising at 8:50 p.m. at midweek and is the only naked-eye planet visible for most of the night.
Mars is rising at 1:05 a.m., followed by Saturn at 3:15 a.m. Venus is rising at 5:30 a.m. and Mercury is up at 5:45 a.m. If you get up shortly before sunrise and have a good view of the eastern horizon, you can see all 5 of the naked-eye planets at once since Jupiter will still be up in the western skies.
The waning crescent moon will visit the morning planets as the week progresses, starting with Mars on Monday morning, Saturn on Wednesday morning, and it will make a triangle with Venus and Mercury on Saturday morning low in the east-southeast.
Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights currently 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 currently 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 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.