Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for January 29th to February 4.
The moon is at first quarter on Thursday February 1st. This week the moon will visit several of the brighter objects currently in the sky. On Thursday it will be a little above and to the right of Saturn high in the east. On Friday the 2nd, the moon will be right next to Jupiter. On the 3rd, the moon will be next to the Hyades star cluster, which is the V-shaped pattern to the right of the moon that evening.
Friday the 2nd is Ground Hog day, as well as Candlemas. Astronomically, these days fall on what is known as a "cross-quarter day", which is a day at the mid-point between a solstice and an equinox, in this case between the winter solstice back in December and the Vernal Equinox which falls near the end of March.
The telescope at Robert Lee Moore hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. The building is located on the southeast corner of 26th and Speedway. Take the elevator to the 17th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.
The telescope at Painter hall is open on Fridays for UT students, faculty and staff from 7 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays are open to the general public from 7 to 9 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about half way between Speedway and Guadalupe.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Observing events are weather permitting.