skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday November 10th through Sunday November 16th.

The moon is at third quarter on Friday the 14th, so we'll have a waning gibbous moon for the week and a waning crescent on the weekend.

Venus and Saturn are separated by just a few degrees from each other this week, but unfortunately they are also just a few degrees from the Sun, so cannot be seen due to the Sun's glare.

Mars is still up in the southwest at sunset and is setting at 9:00 p.m. at midweek.

Jupiter is rising at 11:50 p.m. as it makes its way back into our evening skies. Look for Jupiter near the moon on Thursday night into early Friday morning.

Mercury is rising at 5:45 a.m. at midweek, a little over an hour before sunrise.

This week, the Philae lander of the Rosetta mission will land on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko adding another first to the mission's scorecard. Rosetta became the first mission to orbit a comet back in August, and if Philae is successful, it will be the first controlled landing on a comet. Confirmation of the landing should come on the morning of Wednesday the 12th. You can learn more about the mission at rosetta.esa.int and rosetta.jpl.nasa.gov

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 from 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.