skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday November 24th through Sunday November 30th.

The moon is at first quarter on Saturday the 29th so we'll have a waxing crescent moon in the early evening skies for most of this week.

Venus is setting just half an hour after the sun, so it is still too low to be seen this week.

Mars is still in the southwest in the early evening and is setting at 9:00 p.m. Look for a thin crescent moon alongside Mars on Tuesday evening.

Jupiter is rising at 11:10 p.m. at midweek and is visible for the remainder of the night.

Saturn is emerging from conjunction and is up about half an hour before sunrise. Early in the week it will be just a couple of degrees from Mercury, which is sinking back towards the sun and headed towards conjunction the second week of December.

In space anniversaries this week, Friday November 28th marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of Mariner 4, which would become the first probe to make a successful flyby of the planet Mars the following year.

In more recent space events - over the past weekend, a new crew of three launched to the International Space Station to join the three crewmembers already aboard the station. Among the new residents of the station is Samantha Cristoforetti, who is now the first Italian woman in space. You can follow the activities of the ISS at nasa.gov/station or on twitter at @Space_Station

There will be no viewing on UT campus telescopes this week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. Next week will be the final week of viewing for the fall semester. Spring viewing will resume in late January.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report and have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.