Skywatchers Report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday April 13th through Sunday April 19th.

The moon is at third quarter on Tuesday night so we’ll have a waning gibbous moon on Monday and then a waning crescent moon in our early morning skies for the remainder of the week.

Venus is still dominating the western skies in the evening and is now at magnitude -4.5 and is 31.5 arcseconds in size and is at 36% illumination.

In the morning skies, the moon will pass by Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars over the course of the week. Jupiter is rising at 2:30 a.m. and will be to the left of the moon on Tuesday morning. Saturn is rising at 2:55 a.m. and will be above the moon on Wednesday morning. Mars rounds out the bunch, rising at 3:30 a.m. and will be above the moon on Thursday morning.

Mercury is rising at 6:20 a.m. at midweek, about 40 minutes before sunrise.

In space anniversaries, Monday April 13th marks the 60th anniversary of the launch of Transit I-B, the first navigational satellite. The Transit system, also known as NAVSAT, eventually included 41 satellites and was primarily used by the Navy, and it ceased operations in 1996 after it had been made obsolete by the Global Positioning System. The Transit program required a series of ground monitoring stations, two of which – one in Austin and one at McMurdo Station, Antarctica – were run by the University of Texas.

All public viewing events on UT campus telescopes are on hold for the time being. We will update the website outreach.as.utexas.edu with a new schedule when we are able to resume viewing.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.