Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for March 17th through 23rd.
The full moon for the month of March is in the morning hours of the 18th. This full moon is called the Crow Moon or the Sap Moon.
The vernal equinox occurs at 7 p.m. Central Standard Timeon the 20th, which is also 1 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time on the 21st. This equinox occurs when the sun crosses the celestial equator from the southern hemisphere into the northern. For us, this signals the start of spring, where in the southern hemisphere it is the beginning of autumn. After this equinox our days will gradually start to become longer than the nights.
Saturn is high in the southwest around 8 p.m. this week, with the constellation Orion to its lower left. Bright Jupiter is high in the south at the end of twilight. Venus is still bright in the morning skies, but is sinking lower each morning.
The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights starting at 7:00 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.
The telescope at Painter hall is open on Fridays for UT students, faculty and staff from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays are open to the general public from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about half way between Speedway and Guadalupe.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Observing events are weather permitting. Please note that star party times change throughout the year. Please call this recording to check times and availability before planning a visit to the telescopes.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.