Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday January 22nd through Sunday January 28th.
The moon is at first quarter on Thursday the 25th. Look for the moon alongside the Pleiades open star cluster on Saturday the 27th.
Venus is still shining as the evening star in west after sunset. If you have a good view of the western horizon, you can watch Mercury rising a little higher each day this week as it heads towards its greatest elongation east next month.
Saturn is rising at about 7:15 p.m. this week and is the main planet for evening observing right now. Jupiter is rising at 3:45 a.m. with Mars following at 5:30 a.m.
Last Friday was the first anniversary of the launch of the New Horizons mission, which will be the first spacecraft to fly to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. Also last week, the first images of Jupiter taken by the spacecraft were released. Although New Horizons is still about a month away from its closest approach with Jupiter, it has started collecting data on the Jovian system. For images and more about the mission, logon to pluto.jhuapl.edu
Public viewing at the 16 inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights 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 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.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that viewing times and availability change throughout the year. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before viewing start time on nights when public viewing is cancelled.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.