skywatchers report

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

The moon is at third quarter on Friday April 13th so we will have a waning gibbous moon for most of the week and a waning crescent moon on the weekend.

Jupiter is the lower and fainter of the two bright objects in the west after sunset and is now setting at 9:40 p.m. Venus is the higher and brighter and is setting at 11:35 p.m. at midweek. Mars is now high in the east-southeast at sunset and is setting at 5:05 a.m. at midweek. Saturn is rising at 8 p.m. this week and it will be at opposition on Sunday so it will rise at sunset and be visible all night long.

April 12th marks the annual Yuri's Night worldwide celebration of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's first human spaceflight in 1961. Check yurisnight.net for a list of events. The 12th is also the anniversary of the first space shuttle mission in 1981 when John Young and Robert Crippen piloted Columbia for a three-day mission. You can learn more about the mission and others at the NASA History Program Office's website at history.nasa.gov

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday night now from 8:30 to 10:30 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 night now from 8:30 to 10:30 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. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time when a viewing is cancelled.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.