skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday April 6th through Sunday the 12th.

The full moon for the month of April is on Thursday the 9th . This is the first full moon after the vernal equinox, which was the traditional method for calculating Easter. This full moon is known as the Egg Moon and the Grass Moon.

On Monday, look for the Moon and Saturn together. Early in the evening, Saturn will be to the upper left of the moon. Mercury will be making a return to the evening skies this week. By the weekend it will be setting an hour after the sun. All of the rest of the planets are visible in the morning skies with Jupiter rising at around 4:30 a.m. and the rest of the planets following later.

This week, on April 9, NASA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the original seven Mercury astronauts: Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper and Deke Slayton. You can read more about the anniversary and watch video footage of the original press conference at www.nasa.gov.

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights. This week we will be open from 7 to 11 p.m. to celebrate Yuri’s Night, the anniversary of the first manned spaceflight on April 12, 1961 by Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. We will have entertainment, food and educational materials in addition to the regular telescope viewing. Next week the pubic viewing times will move to 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. – please note the new time. 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 viewing start time when a viewing is cancelled.

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