skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday April 10 through Sunday April 16.

The moon is at third quarter early on Thursday the 13 so we’ll have a waning gibbous moon for the first part of the week and a waning crescent moon for the second half of the week.

Jupiter is in solar conjunction on Tuesday and will pass behind the sun from the Earth’s perspective. After conjunction, Jupiter will begin to emerge in the pre-dawn skies.

And at about the same time Jupiter is passing behind the Sun, Mercury will be at its greatest elongation from the sun in our evening skies. During this time, Mercury will be setting about an hour and a half after the sun so you should be able to spot it if you have a good view of the western horizon.

Venus shining brightly in the west after sunset and is setting at 11:05 p.m.

Mars is very high in the west in the evening twilight and is setting at 1:55 a.m.

In the morning skies, Saturn is rising at 4:55 a.m. at midweek. Look for Saturn above the waning crescent moon on Sunday morning.

This past Saturday, April 8, marks one year from the total solar eclipse that will pass through Texas and continue through the US up to Maine. Here in the UT campus, the eclipse will start at 12:17 p.m. and will reach totality at 1:36 p.m. Totality will be just shy of two minutes at UT and then remainder of the partial eclipse will end at 2:58 p.m. Stay tuned for more information on our plans for public events around this eclipse and the annular eclipse coming in October 2023!

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of the Physics, Math, and Astronomy building is on Wednesday nights now from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. PMA 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.