skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday March 21st through Sunday March 27th.

The full moon for the month of March is on Wednesday the 23rd, so we'll start the week with a waxing gibbous moon and finish with a waning gibbous moon. This full moon is known as the Sap Moon, the Worm Moon, and the Lenten Moon.

Jupiter is rising a little after 6 p.m. at midweek so it will be well placed for viewing in the eastern skies in the early evenings. Look for Jupiter next to the moon on Monday night.

Mars rises at 12:25 a.m., followed by Saturn at 1:10 a.m. The two planets are currently making a triangle with the bright star Antares in the constellation Scorpius.

Venus is rising at 6:40 a.m., about 45 minutes before the sun.

Mercury is in superior conjunction with the sun on Wednesday when it will pass behind the sun from the Earth's point of view and will move from the morning skies to the evening skies.

In space anniversaries this week, Wednesday March 23rd marks the 15th anniversary of the de-orbiting of the Russian space station Mir. The station was constructed over a 10 year period starting in 1986 and was continuously inhabited for a total of 3644 days, a record that was eventually surpassed by the International Space Station in 2010.

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights currently from 8:30 to 10:30 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 currently from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe and is northeast of the UT Tower. To get to the telescope, take the elevator to the 5th floor and exit to the left. Follow the 5th floor hallway to the end and take the staircase through the double doors on the left. Once you reach the 6th floor, go to your right and follow the signs up to the telescope.

All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that viewing times and availability change throughout the year so please check the schedule before planning a visit. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 45 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.