Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for February 25th through March 3rd
The full moon for the month of February is early in the morning hours of the 27th. This full moon is sometimes called the Snow Moon, the Hunger Moon or the Wolf Moon. The full moon this month comes just 11 hours from the time when the moon will be at it's closest point to the earth this year, so it will look a bit larger, brighter and we will see higher than usual tides.
Saturn and Jupiter continue to dazzle in our skies. Saturn is almost overhead as twilight ends, still near Aldebaran, the red star of Taurus the Bull. Jupiter lies near the feet of the twins in the constellation Gemini. If you look for the large planet with binoculars, you should see a nice open star cluster, M35, near by.
The space shuttle Columbia is due to lift off this week on a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. Among the upgrades Hubble will receive is the new Advanced Camera for Surveys, which will replace the Faint Object Camera - the last of Hubble's original instruments. You can follow the mission online at spaceflight.nasa.gov
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.
There will be no star parties the week of March 11th due to Spring Break.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Observing events are weather permitting.