skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for May 14h to the 20th.

The last quarter moon will occur on Tuesday May 15.

On Wednesday the 16th, Mercury and Jupiter will reach their closest point in the western skies after sunset. The two planets will be a little less than three degrees apart. You'll need a good view of the western horizon to see the planets, since they will be fairly low once the sky darkens enough to see them. Jupiter is the brighter of the two, with the fainter Mercury to its upper right.

Early in the morning hours of Saturday the 19th, the slim crescent moon will be about three degrees from the planet Venus, which appears as a very bright star in the east before dawn.

By the end of the week, Mars will be rising by 11:00 p.m. The Red Planet is currently in between the constellations of Scorpius and Sagittarius in a rich area of our sky. There are several great Messier objects nearby, such as the Lagoon and Trifid nebulae.

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