skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday April 9th through Sunday the 15th.

The moon is at third quarter on Tuesday the 10th. The moon will be above Mars in the hour or so before sunrise on April 13th and the moon will be below the Red Planet on the 14th.

Saturn is high in the sky after the sun sets and is visible until about 4 a.m.

Venus is bright in the west at sundown. Look for it alongside the Pleiades open star cluster in Taurus this week.

The sun has been very quiet in terms of sunspots for the past few weeks, but there has been a large coronal hole that has been allowing a strong stream of solar wind to reach earth and create splendid auroras at high latitudes. You can keep track of the activity on the sun and how it affects the earth at spaceweather.com

This week is the annual celebration of space exploration called Yuri’s Night. The world space party is held every year on April 12th, in honor of Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight on that date in 1961 and the first space shuttle flight on that date 20 years later in 1981. Several organizations will be hosting a party at the Texas Union Showroom and Eastwoods room starting at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday and everyone is welcome to attend. You can find out more about the parties at www.yurisnight.net

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights from 8 to 10 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 8 to 10 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.