Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday February 26th to March 4th.
The moon is full on Saturday March 3rd. This full moon is known as the Lenten Moon, the Sap Moon and the Crow Moon. The full moon has an added bonus of being totally eclipsed, although we won’t see the total eclipse here in central Texas. The moon will rise here at about 6:30 p.m. but the total phase of the eclipse ends at 5:58. The partial eclipse ends at 7:12 p.m. and the penumbral phase, which is difficult to observe, ends at 8:24 p.m.
Venus is the bright object in the west at sundown. Venus sets at 8:45 p.m. at mid-week. Saturn is rising at about 4:30 p.m., so it is well placed for viewing once the sky darkens after sunset. On Thursday March 1, look for Saturn next to the moon. Jupiter is rising at about 2 a.m. and Mars is rising at about 5 a.m.
This Saturday is the annual University of Texas open house, Explore UT. The Astronomy Dept and McDonald observatory will have some exhibits and demonstrations, along with the hundreds of other events that will be going on all day all around campus. You can view the complete schedule on the web at www.utexas.edu/events/exploreut
Public viewing at the 16 inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights 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 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.
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 viewing start time on nights when public viewing is cancelled.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.