Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for February 27th through March 5th.
The moon is new during the day on Tuesday. The slim crescent moon will reappear in the evening skies in the west. Look for Mercury low in the west and about 10 degrees below the crescent moon on March 1st, just after sunset.
Mars is high in the west at sunset and is still between the two open clusters in Taurus The Pleiades and the Hyades. Saturn is high in the east and appears as a bright creamy-white star.
There are now two bright planets and a moderately bright comet in the skies before dawn. Jupiter is high in the south at 5 a.m. after rising a little before midnight. Venus is lower in the east-southeast and is shining at magnitude -4.5 About 10 degrees to the left of Venus is Comet Pojmanski, which is just barely visible to the naked eye in a dark location, but should be easy to find in binoculars or a small telescope.
The annual Explore UT open house will be held on March 4th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The full schedule is available online at www.utexas.edu/events/exploreut
Public viewing at the Painter Hall telescope is on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 to 9 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe.
The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights from 7 to 9 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.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that star party times and availability change throughout the year. Please call this recording before planning a visit to the telescopes. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before viewing start time only on nights when star parties are cancelled.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.