skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for May 7th to the13th.

The full moon for the month of May is on the 7th. This full moon is called the Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.

Saturn is now setting just 45 minutes after the sun. Tiny Mercury is getting closer to Jupiter everyday this week. The pair of planets are visible low in the west shortly after sunset. They will reach their closest point next week, which will make Mercury a little easier than usual to pick out. Mars and the moon will be close to each other on the nights of the 9th and 10th as they rise around midnight. Venus continues to shine brightly as the "morning star".

Last Saturday, May 5th, was the 40th anniversary of the first spaceflight by an American. Astronaut Alan Shepard flew for 15 minutes in a sub-orbital flight on board his Mercury capsule, named Freedom 7.

Summer public viewing on University campus telescopes will resume in June. Stay tuned for further details.