Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for February 13th through the 19th.
The moon was full late on the night of Sunday the 12th, local time and will be at third quarter early on the morning of Tuesday the 21st. In between the moon will be slowly waning and rising about 50 minutes later each night.
Saturn is still bright in the east in the evening hours while Mars is high in the west and near the Pleiades open star cluster. Jupiter is rising at 12:30 a.m. at mid-week and Venus shines as the morning star, rising about 2 hours before the sun.
Two pioneers of the 16th and 17th centuries’ revolution in our understanding of our place in the solar system celebrate birthdays this week. Nicholas Copernicus was born in Poland on February 19th 1473 and published his book on the heliocentric theory in 1543, the year he died. Just over 20 years after the death of Copernicus, Gaileo Galileii was born in Pisa, Italy on February 15th, 1564. Gaileo was a defender of Copernicus’ work and his observations with the telescope produced evidence in support of the heliocentric theory.
Public viewing at the Painter Hall telescope is on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 to 9 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe.
The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. RLM is located on the southeast corner of Dean Keeton and Speedway. Take the elevators to the 17th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that star party times and availability change throughout the year. Please call this recording before planning a visit to the telescopes. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before viewing start time only on nights when star parties are cancelled.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.