Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for March 24th through the 30th.
The moon is at third quarter on the night of the 24th local time, and the early morning hours of the 25th going by Universal Time.
Mars will be to the upper right of the moon also on the morning of the 25th, visible in the east before dawn. Early risers who have been watching Mars throughout the March have probably noticed its rapid brightening over the weeks. The orbits of the Earth and Mars bring to two planets close together every two years and the next close approach will arrive in August. As a result, skywatchers will see the Red Planet growing steadily brighter as the two planets converge. Mars will be 26 million miles closer to Earth by the end of the month than it was on the 1st of March.
The very slim crescent moon will slip by the low and bright planet Venus on the mornings of the 28th and 29th.
Saturn and Jupiter continue to shine in the evening skies, with Saturn high in the west at the end of twilight and Jupiter close to overhead.
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.