Skywatchers Report

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

The moon was at last quarter on Sunday the 8th and will reach new late on Sunday the 15th so we'll have a waning crescent moon in our early morning skies for all of this week.

Venus continues to shine brightly in the west at sundown and is setting at 9:40 p.m. this week.

Jupiter is rising in the east-southeast at 10:00 p.m. as it heads towards opposition in one month and becomes well-placed for summer evening observing.

Saturn rises at 1:40 a.m. this week, followed by Mars at 2:05 a.m. Mercury is rising at 6:20 a.m., about 50 minutes before the sun.

In space anniversaries, 25 years ago on April 8, the space shuttle Discovery launched from the Kennedy Space Center carrying astronaut Ellen Ochoa, who became the first Hispanic woman in space on this flight. Ochoa later became the first Hispanic person and second woman director of the Johnson Space Center, the position she currently holds.

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights 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 nights 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. Take the elevator to the 5th floor then take the stairs up to the 6th floor 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.