Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday March 27th through Sunday April 2nd.
The new moon for the month of March is late on the night of Monday the 27th and it will reach first quarter next Monday so we'll have a waxing crescent moon in the early evening skies for all of this week.
Mercury is at greatest elongation east on Saturay April 1, making this a good time to try to catch the elusive innermost planet. Mercury is setting at 9:20 p.m. on Saturday, about an hour and a half after the sun.
Mars is low in the west at sunset and is setting at 10:30 p.m. this week.
Jupiter is rising at 8:20 p.m. and is now visible for nearly the whole night as it moves towards opposition next week.
Saturn is rising at 1:35 a.m. so there are several hours of darkness to observe it before sunrise.
Venus has now moved from our evening skies into the morning skies and is rising at 6:30 a.m., almost an hour before sunrise.
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.