Skywatchers Report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday May 6th through Sunday May 12th.

The moon is at first quarter late on Saturday the 11th so we'll have a waxing crescent moon in our early evening skies for most of the week.

Mars continues to shine in the western skies after sunset and is setting at 11:10 p.m. this week. Look for Mars to the right of the crescent moon on Tuesday evening.

Jupiter is rising at 10:45 p.m. at midweek so it is now visible for most of the night. Saturn rises about 2 hours after Jupiter and is up at 12:40 a.m. at midweek.

Venus is rising at 5:30 a.m. at midweek, still a little over an hour before the sun. Mercury is up at 6:05 a.m. at midweek, just 35 minutes before the sun.

In space anniversaries this week, Saturday May 11 marks 10 years since the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on the final mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. Astronauts conducted a total of five spacewalks over the 13-day mission. The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and the Wide Field Camera 3 were installed and work was done on the infrastructure of the telescope. HST just passed 29 years in orbit and is expected to survive into the 2020s.

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.

This week will be the final week for public viewing on UT campus telescopes for the spring 2019 semester. Summer session viewing will start in early-to-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.