skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday April 28th through Sunday May 4th.

The moon is new on Tuesday the 29th so we will have a waxing crescent moon the early evening skies for most of this week. The sun, moon, and Earth are still roughly lined up after the lunar eclipse at the full moon two weeks ago so there will be a solar eclipse with this new moon. This will be an annular eclipse where the moon doesn't fully eclipse the entire disk of the sun and a ring of sunlight is left around the moon. The point of greatest eclipse is in Antarctica, but all of Australia and the southern most parts of Indonesia will see a partial eclipse.

Jupiter continues to shine brightly in the west after sunset and is setting at 1 a.m. Look for the crescent moon and Jupiter to make a nice pairing on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Mars is up in the southeast as the sky darkens after nightfall and is setting at 5:30 a.m., so it will be visible for most of the night.

Saturn is rising at 8:40 p.m., shortly after sunset, as it heads towards opposition next week. Saturn will be visible all night.

Mercury is still emerging from last week's conjunction and is lost in the sun's glare. Venus is up in the east-southeast about two hours before sunrise and is still shining brightly as the "morning star".

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. 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.

This week will be the final week of spring semester public viewing on UT campus telescopes. Summer viewing will start in the first half of 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.