skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday January 6th through Sunday January 12th.

The moon is at first quarter on the night of Tuesday January 7th and we'll have a waxing gibbous moon for the remainder of the week.

Venus is sinking lower all week and will be at inferior conjunction with the sun on Saturday the 11th and will pass from the evening skies to the morning skies. Mercury, meanwhile, is emerging from conjunction and is slowly moving higher in the early evening skies. The two planets will be close to one another at midweek, but will be setting just half an hour after the sun.

Jupiter is rising at 5:20 p.m. and will be setting just before sunrise, so it is visible most of the night. Mars is rising at 12:20 a.m., followed by Saturn at 3:10 a.m.

In space anniversaries, last Friday, January 3rd, marked the 10th anniversary of the landing of the Spirit Rover on the surface of Mars. Contact was lost with Spirit in March 2010, but its twin Opportunity is still operating and will have its 10th anniversary in a few weeks.

Public viewing on UT campus telescopes will resume in a few weeks. Please check back for information on starting dates and times.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.