Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday January 27th through Sunday February 2nd.
Moon is new on Thursday the 30th, marking the second new moon for the month of January this year. We'll start the week with a waning crescent moon in the morning skies shortly before dawn and finish with a waxing crescent moon the evening skies shortly after sunset this weekend.
Mercury is still visible low in the west after sunset and is setting at 7:30 p.m. at midweek. Mercury will be at greatest elongation on Friday, after which it will start to sink back towards the sun.
Jupiter is shining brightly in the east after sundown and will be up most of the night, setting at 5:45 a.m. Mars is rising at 11:30 p.m., followed by Saturn at 1:50 a.m. Venus is shining brightly as the "morning star" and rises at 5:20 a.m. Look for a very thin crescent moon above and to the right of Venus on Tuesday morning.
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.