skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday January 26th through Sunday February 1st.

The moon at first quarter late on Monday night and we'll have a waxing gibbous moon for the remainder of the week.

Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the sun on Friday and will pass behind the sun from the Earth's point of view. Mercury will re-emerge from the Sun's glare in the morning skies in February.

Venus continues to climb in the western skies at sunset and is setting at 7:50 p.m. at midweek. Observers with a medium-sized telescope might be able to catch Neptune less than a degree from Venus on Sunday evening.

Mars is a little above Venus and is setting at 8:40 p.m. Venus and Mars will be gradually moving closer to one another for the next few weeks, ending up half a degree apart in the second half of February.

Over in the east, Jupiter is rising at 6:40 p.m. and is visible for the remainder of the night.

Saturn is rising at 2:45 a.m. and is visible off the head of the constellation Scorpius.

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights currently 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 currently 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. To get to the telescope, take the elevator to the 5th floor and exit to the left. Follow the 5th floor hallway to the end and take the staircase through the double doors on the left. Once you reach the 6th floor, go to your right and follow the signs up to the telescope.

All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that viewing times and availability change throughout the year so please check the schedule before planning a visit. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 45 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.