skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday February 25th through Sunday March 3rd.

The full moon for the month of February is on Monday the 25th and we will have a waning gibbous moon for the remainder of the week. This full moon is known as the Snow Moon, the Wolf Moon, and the Hunger Moon.

Mercury and Mars are both drawing close to the sun and are lost in the evening twilight. Mercury is setting just half an hour after the sun at midweek, followed by Mars just 15 minutes later.

Jupiter is still visible high overhead shortly after sunset and is setting at 1:15 a.m. at midweek. Look for the nearby open star clusters of the Hyades and the Pleiades.

Saturn is rising at 11:00 p.m. and is visible for the remainder of the night. Look for the moon near Saturn on Friday night into Saturday morning.

Venus is rising just 15 minutes before the sun and is lost in the sun's glare as it heads towards conjunction at the end of the month of March.

Saturday March 2nd is the annual Explore UT open house on the University of Texas campus from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory will be on the roof of Robert Lee Moore hall doing a variety of demonstrations through out the day. For more information on the event, go to www.utexas.edu/events/exploreut.

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.