Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for April 4th through the 10th.
The moon will be new on Friday, April 8th. This particular new moon is one that you can actually observe for yourself, because it is going to partially eclipse the sun that day. Most people will see a partial eclipse, but some lucky viewers on cruise ships will see the total eclipse in the middle of the south Pacific. In other places, observers will see an annular eclipse, where the moon doesn't quite block the entire disk of the sun and a bright ring is visible. An eclipse that is both total and annular is called a hybrid eclipse, and is a fairly rare phenomenon.
For Austin, the partial eclipse will start at 4:17 p.m. Central Daylight Time and will reach maximum eclipse at 5:10, when about a quarter of the sun's area will be eclipsed. The eclipse will end at 5:59 p.m. for Austin. The solar telescope located on the 13th floor of Robert Lee Moore Hall will be open for viewing during the eclipse, weather permitting.
Information on the eclipse and safe observing techniques are available at science.nasa.gov.
For more skywatching tips for the week, check out stardate.org
The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights from 8 to 10 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 Painter Hall telescope is open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights from 8 to 10 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe.
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.