skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday February 22nd through Sunday the 28th.

The full moon for the month of February falls on the 28th, the last day of the month and we will see a waxing gibbous moon all of this week. This full moon is known as the Snow Moon, the Wolf Moon and the Hunger Moon.

Five planets, three of which are visible to the unaided eye, are currently clustered near the sun. Mercury is up shortly before the Sun, followed by Neptune. Jupiter is in conjunction with the Sun on the 28th. Venus is setting about 45 minutes after the Sun, followed by Uranus half an hour later.

The two remaining naked-eye planets are visible over a large part of the evening. Mars is up in the east as the sky darkens and is alongside the moon on Thursday the 25th. Saturn is rising at 8:15 p.m. at mid-week.

The Space Shuttle Endeavour landed safely at the Kennedy Space Center Sunday night after a productive two-week mission to the International Space Station. This is the second-to-last flight for Endeavour and now there are only four remaining shuttle flights planned. The next flight will be on board the shuttle Discovery which is expected to launch in early April.

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. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time when a viewing is cancelled.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.