skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for March 20th through the 26th.

The moon is at third quarter on Wednesday night. This means this moon will be rising well after midnight and will leave dark skies for early evening viewing.

The Vernal Equinox occurred at 12:25 p.m. Central Standard Time on Monday, March 20th. This is the time that the sun crosses the celestial equator and moves from the southern celestial hemisphere to the northern. And contrary to popular belief, this isn’t the only day of the year you can balance an egg on end. If you have the patience, and a good level table or countertop, you can balance an egg on end any day of the year. For more information on this and other misconceptions in astronomy, check out www.badastronomy.com

Mars is still visible high in the west at sundown. Saturn is high overhead as the sky darkens and is visible until well after midnight.

Jupiter rises at 10 p.m. this week as is works its way towards opposition in early May. Venus reaches its greatest elongation west on Saturday, which means it is at its greatest distance from the sun, 46.5 degrees, that morning.

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.