skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday January 8th through Monday January 15th 2007.

The moon is at third quarter on Thursday the 11th.

The skies just before sunrise and just after sunset are currently being graced by a relatively bright comet, C/2006 P1 McNaught. To find the comet in the evenings, you will need a good view of the western horizon. Look to the right and down from Venus, the bright star like object in the west-southwest. At 6 p.m. the comet is only about 5 degrees from the horizon as it makes its way near the sun. For finder charts and photos of the comet check out spaceweather.com

As mentioned earlier, Venus is currently visible in the west after sunset and is currently shining at magnitude -3.9

Saturn is rising at about 8:15 p.m. this week. Jupiter and Mars are early morning objects, rising at 4:30 a.m. and 5:45 a.m. respectively.

Last week, scientists working with data from the Cassini spacecraft announced convincing evidence of liquid lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan. The idea that Titan may have hydrocarbon lakes has been around for some time, but the evidence has gotten better and better since the Cassini spacecraft began imaging that moon. This week also marks the two-year anniversary of the Huygens probe’s decent onto Titan’s surface. For images from and information on the Cassini mission, logon to saturn.jpl.nasa.gov

Public viewing on UT campus telescopes will resume in the second half of January 2007. Please call back in the next few weeks far starting dates and times.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.