Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for February 17th to the 23rd.
The moon is at third quarter phase on Sunday the 23rd. The moon is at perigee, it's closest point the earth, on the 19th. On that night, the moon will be 226,704 miles away, as opposed to 251,377 miles at apogee back on the 7th.
Saturn and Jupiter continue to be at their best in our evening skies. Saturn is high in the south around 8 p.m., with the constellation Orion below and to the left. The Hyades and Pleiades star clusters in Taurus are to Saturn's right. Around the same time, Jupiter is up in the eastern sky between the constellations Cancer and Leo.
Venus rises at about 4:30 in the morning and is shining brightly at magnitude minus 4. A reddish orange Mars is visible to the upper right of Venus.
The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights starting at 7:00 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.
The telescope at Painter hall is open on Fridays for UT students, faculty and staff from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays are open to the general public from 7:00 to 9:00 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. Please note that star party times change throughout the year.