Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for April 14th through the 20th.
The full moon for the month of April is on Wednesday the 16th. This moon is called the Pink Moon, the Grass Moon or sometimes the Egg Moon. The moon will be at its closest point to the earth, known as perigee, shortly after the full phase, meaning large tides for coastal areas. This perigee is the closest for 2003, so it will be the largest and brightest full moon of the year.
Mercury is at its greatest elongation also on the 16th, although it is well placed for viewing all week. Look for the innermost planet low in the west-northwest shortly after sunset.
Saturn is now in the western skies at sunset, visible about 15 degrees above the "V" shape of the Hyades cluster in Taurus. Jupiter is close to overhead as twilight ends.
The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is now open to the public on Wednesday nights starting at 8:30 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 8:30 to 9:30 and Saturdays are open to the general public from 8:30 to 10:30. 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 before planning a visit to the telescopes.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.