skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday May 4th through Sunday May 10th.

The full moon for the month of May occurred late on Sunday the 3rd and will be at third quarter on Monday the 11th, so we'll have a waning gibbous moon for all of this week.

Mars is now very low in the west at sundown and is setting 45 minutes after the sun.

Mercury is above Mars and is at greatest elongation on Wednesday night, making this a good week to try to spot the innermost planet. Mercury is setting just a little before 10 p.m. at midweek.

Venus is shining brightly in the west-northwest and is setting at 11:40 p.m. this week.

Jupiter is moving over into the western skies at sunset and is setting at 2:20 a.m.

Over in the east-southeast, Saturn is rising at 9:15 p.m. and is visible for the remainder of the night. Look for Saturn below the moon on Monday night and above it on Tuesday night.

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 is the final week of public viewing on UT campus telescopes for the spring semester. Summer viewing will start in 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.