skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday February 15th through Sunday February 21st.

The moon is at first quarter on Monday February 15th and will reach full next Monday so we will have a waxing gibbous moon for all of this week.

Jupiter is rising at 7:50 p.m. and is visible for the remainder of the night. Jupiter will be the dominant bright planet in the early evenings this spring.

Mars is rising at 12:45 a.m., followed by Saturn at 2:25 a.m.

The final two planets visible to the unaided eye, Venus and Mercury, are rising closer to the sun now but you might still be able to pick it out from the dawn glow if you have a good view of the eastern horizon. Venus is rising at 5:40 a.m. and Mercury follows at 6:00 a.m., a little over an hour before the sun.  

The 24th annual Great Lecture in Astronomy will be this Saturday, February 20th at 1:00 p.m. in the Avaya Auditorium at the Peter O'Donnell Building on the University of Texas Campus. This year's lecture will be given by Professor Neal Evans on "Astrochemistry: A Song of Ice and Dust". The talk is free and open to the public. More information in available on our website at www.as.utexas.edu

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.