skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday November 19th through Sunday November 25th.

The moon is at first quarter on Tuesday the 20th, so we will have a waxing gibbous moon for the remainder of the week.

Mars is hanging on in our evening skies low in the west-southwest and sets at 7:40 p.m., about two hours after the sun. Jupiter is rising at 6:10 p.m. at midweek so it is well-placed in the eastern skies for evening observing. Look for the open star cluster the Pleiades, commonly called the Seven Sisters, about 10 degrees above Jupiter and the bright orange star Aldebaran nearby to the right of Jupiter. The constellation Orion is now above the horizon by 9:00 p.m.

The remainder of the planets visible to the unaided eye are now up in the morning skies a couple of hours before the sun. Venus is rising at 4:40 a.m., followed by Saturn at 5:05 a.m. Venus and Saturn will move closer to one another this week until they are about half a degree apart next week. Mercury is up about an hour before the sun and will be hard to pick out from the sun’s glare as it emerges from conjunction.

There will be no public viewing on the UT campus telescopes this week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. After this week, regular viewing days and times will run for two more weeks this semester.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report and have a great Thanksgiving holiday!