skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday March 24th through Sunday the 30th.

The moon is a third quarter on Saturday the 29th. Look for the moon and Jupiter together on in the morning hours of Sunday the 30th before the sun rises.

The evening planets are still Mars and Saturn with Mars near overhead as the sky darkens and Saturn rising in the east. Both of these planets have spacecraft currently in orbit around them returning amazing photos and lots of data. You can follow the Cassini mission at Saturn at saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the gateway to all the different missions at Mars can be found at mars.jpl.nasa.gov

All the other planets are up after midnight. Pluto is rising at 2 a.m., Jupiter follows at 3:30 a.m., Neptune at 5:30, and Uranus, Venus and Mercury are grouped together and rising at about 6:30 a.m.

Since we’re now officially in spring, the constellations of winter are starting to show up further west as evening twilight ends. Orion is in the southwest at 9 p.m. and Taurus is in the west. The summer constellations of Hercules, Lyra and others are now starting to rise around 1 a.m.

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights now 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 now 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. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before the scheduled start time when a viewing is cancelled.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.