skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for February 11th to the 17th

The new moon for the month of February is on Tuesday the 12th.

Two storms on Jupiter continue on their near-collision path. One is the famous Great Red Spot and the other is a 70 year old white oval storm. The two storms are adjoining latitudes, so the collision will most likely be more of a glancing blow than a head-on crash. Astronomers both amateur and professional will continue to watch the storms over the next couple of weeks to see how they continue to interact. Updates have been posted at www.spaceweather.com

A fading Mars will make an attractive pairing with the slim crescent moon on the evening of the 16th. Saturn is almost straight overhead at about 8:30 this week, still lying between the open star clusters of the Hyades and Pleiades. Jupiter is to the left of Orion in the evening hours.

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 Dean Keeton (formerly 26th street) 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.