Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday April 23rd through Sunday April 29th.
The moon was at first quarter late on Sunday April 22nd and will reach full late on Sunday April 29th into the early hours of Monday April 30 depending on your time zone. The full moon for April is known as the Egg Moon and the Grass Moon.
Venus is still shining brightly in the west at sunset and is setting at 10:10 p.m. at midweek. If you look to the right of Venus, you might be able to pick out the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades open star cluster.
Over in the east, Jupiter is rising at 9:00 p.m. and is now just a couple of weeks from opposition when it will be at its best and visible all night long.
Saturn is rising at 12:45 a.m. this week, followed by Mars at 1:40 a.m.
In the early morning skies, Mercury is at its greatest elongation on Sunday the 29th when it will be 27 degrees away from the sun. After greatest elongation, Mercury will start to slide back towards the sun and its next solar conjunction.
Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights currently 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 currently 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.
Next week will be the final week of viewing on UT campus telescopes for the spring semester. Summer semester viewing will start in mid-June.
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.