Skywatchers Report

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

The moon starts the week at last quarter and will reach new next week, so we'll have a waning crescent moon for all of this week.

Venus is in superior conjunction with the Sun on Tuesday and will pass behind the sun from the Earth's point of view. After conjunction, Venus will re-emerge from the Sun's glare in our early evening skies

The rest of the planets visible to the unaided eye are still all up in the morning skies, although Mercury is moving back towards the sun and will join Venus in the early evening skies next month.

Jupiter is rising at 2:50 a.m., followed by Mars at 3:00 a.m. The two planets are still close to one another in the morning skies and will be joined by the waning crescent moon on Thursday morning.

Mercury is rising a little after 6:00 a.m. at midweek and Saturn is rising just 10 minutes later. The two planets will be close together at the end of the week and will be separated by just over half a degree on Saturday the 13th.

If you want to look for the two planets not visible to the unaided eye, Neptune is in the constellation Aquarius in the west after sunset and is setting at 9:45 p.m. You'll need a finder chart and at least a small telescope to find our most distant major planet.

Uranus is in the heart of the constellation Pisces and is setting at 1:00 a.m. and is technically bright enough to see with the naked eye from a dark location, but in practicality you'll need binoculars or a telescope to see it.

Public viewing on UT campus telescopes for the spring semester will start in late January. Please check back for details on starting dates and times.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.