skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for January 18th through the 23rd.

On Wednesday night, the moon will appear alongside the Pleiades open star cluster, close to overhead in the early evening hours.

Last Friday the European Space Agency's Huygens probe made its historic landing on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. Over the weekend, scientists released the first color photograph, showing an orange-tinted landscape that looks very similar to Mars at first glance. Scientists will continue to analyze the photographs and data collected from other instruments for months to come. To follow the mission and see the latest images from the Saturnian system, log on to saturn.jpl.nasa.gov

You can see Saturn for yourself in the east at sunset. It the below and to the right of Castor and Pollux, the two bright starts of the constellation Gemini.

Jupiter is rising around midnight now, and will enter the early evening skies in a few months. Mercury and Venus are still close together and are visible low in the east about half an hour before sunrise.

For more skywatching tips for the week, check out stardate.org

Spring semester public viewing nights will resume next week. The 16-inch reflecting telescope at RLM will be open on Wednesday night and the 9-inch refracting telescope at Painter Hall will be open on Friday and Saturday night. Please call back next week for the new start times.

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