skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday November 9th through Sunday November 15th.

The new moon for the month of November is on Wednesday the 11th so we'll start the week with a waning crescent moon and finish with a waxing crescent moon.

Saturn is still lingering in the west-southwest at sunset and is setting at 6:35 p.m., about an hour after sunset this week. The one-day-old moon will be alongside Saturn on Thursday evening, but will be very difficult to pick up in the evening twilight.

Jupiter continues to slowly work its way back towards evening viewing, but is still rising two hours after midnight this week. Mars follows at 3:00 a.m., and Venus is rising 3:20 a.m. Mercury is now very close to the sun as it heads towards conjunction next week.

In space anniversaries this week, November 12th marks 35 years since Voyager 1 flew past Saturn becoming the second spacecraft to visit the planet after Pioneer 11's visit about a year earlier.

Also this week, November 9th is the 10th anniversary of the launch of the European Space Agency's Venus Express mission. The spacecraft arrived at Venus five months later and monitored Venus' atmosphere until the mission officially ended in December 2014.

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights now from 7 to 9 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 now from 7 to 9 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. Please note that there will be no Painter Telescope viewing on Saturday evenings when the UT football team has a night home game. To check the football schedule, logon to texassports.com.

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.