Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday February 6th through Sunday February 12th.
The full moon for the month of February is on the night of Friday the 10th, so we'll have a waxing gibbous moon for the work week and a waning gibbous moon for the weekend. This full moon is known as the Snow Moon, the Wolf Moon, and the Hunger Moon.
There will also be a penumbral eclipse with this full moon, where the moon passes through the outer part of the Earth's shadow. This kind of eclipse is much harder to see than an umbral eclipse where the moon passes through the middle of Earth's shadow, although you may be able to pick out subtle shading at the peak of the eclipse, which will be at 6:43 p.m. on Friday evening here in Austin.
Venus continues to be the dominant object in the western skies after sunset where it shines brightly at magnitude -4.6. Mars is still above and to the left of Venus, but is much dimmer at magnitude +1.2 Venus is setting at 9:35 p.m. followed by Mars at 9:55 p.m.
Over in the eastern skies, Jupiter is rising at 10:50 p.m. at midweek, followed by Saturn at 3:40 a.m.
Mercury is now sinking back towards the sun and is up less than an hour before sunrise.
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. 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.
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.