Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for March 14th through the 20th.
The moon is at first quarter on St. Patrick's Day, Thursday March 17th. On the 14th the moon will be below the Pleiades star cluster and on the 15th it will be above the cluster. The moon will be alongside Saturn on Saturday the 19th.
The spring, or vernal, equinox is on Sunday the 20th at 6:33 a.m. Central Standard Time. On that day the sun will cross the celestial equator into the northern sky and the days will start to become longer than the nights for the Northern Hemisphere. Often at this time of year the old story that you can stand an egg on end on the equinox shows up. In fact, you can stand an egg on end any day of the year and there is nothing special about doing it on the equinox. For more information on this urban legend and the science behind the truth of the matter, check out Phil Plait's BadAstronomy.com website and search on 'egg'.
For more skywatching tips for the week, check out stardate.org
There will be no public viewing on UT campus telescopes this week due to Spring Break. Wednesday night viewing at Robert Lee Moore Hall and Friday and Saturday night viewing at Painter Hall will resume next week.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.