Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday November 13th through Sunday November 19th.
The new moon for the month of November is on Saturday the 18th so we'll have a waning crescent moon for most of the week and a very thin waxing crescent moon on Sunday.
Mercury is still moving away from the sun as it heads towards greatest elongation next week and is setting 6:40 p.m. this week. You might be able to spot it low in the west-southwest shortly after sunset.
Saturn is above Mercury and is setting at 7:35 p.m. at midweek.
The remaining planets visible to the unaided eye are still grouped together in the morning skies.
Mars is rising around 4: 00 a.m. this week. Look for a thin crescent moon above Mars on Tuesday morning and below Mars on Wednesday morning.
Jupiter is continuing to move away from the sun after conjunction and is rising at 5:40 a.m. at midweek.
Venus is moving back towards the sun and is rising at 5:55 a.m. at midweek.
The Leonids meteor shower is due to peak on the night of Friday the 17th into the morning of Saturday the 18th and with a nearly new moon, this year has favorable viewing conditions. This year's shower isn't expected to be very active like in years when the earth passes through more dense clumps of material from the shower's parent comet, Tempel-Tuttle, so expect around 10-20 meteors an hour at the peak.
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 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.
There will be no viewing on UT Campus telescopes next week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.
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.