Skywatchers Report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday November 26th through Sunday December 2nd.

The moon is at third quarter on Thursday night, so we'll start the week with a waning gibbous moon and finish the week with a waning crescent moon in our early morning skies.

Jupiter and Mercury both start the week in conjunction with the sun and are passing behind the sun from the Earth's point of view. Both planets will slowly emerge from the sun's glare in the morning skies.

Saturn is low in the west-southwest at sunset and is setting at 7:35 p.m.

Mars is up in the south-southwest at sunset and is setting at 12:20 a.m.

Venus is up in the morning skies and is rising at 4:05 a.m. and reaches its brightest point for this morning apparition on Sunday.

In space anniversaries this week, Sunday December 2nd marks 25 years since the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour for the first Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. Over the course of five spacewalks, the astronauts installed several instruments including a corrective instrument for the main mirror that had been ground to the wrong shape.

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights currently 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 currently 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.

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.

Next week will be the final week of public viewing on UT campus telescopes for the fall semester. Spring semester viewing will begin in late January.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.