Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for April 18th through the 24th.
The full moon for the month of April is on Sunday the 24th. This full moon is known as the Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and the Fish Moon. The sun and moon are close to being in line with earth, as was evidenced by the solar eclipse from two weeks ago. The three objects are partially aligned, but the lunar eclipse this coming weekend will only a penumbral eclipse. In a penumbral eclipse, the moon will pass through the outermost part of the earth's shadow. An excellent animation at spaceweather.com shows the set-up and explains why this type of eclipse is particularly hard to observe.
The bright object close to the moon in the east at sundown on the 21st and 22nd is Jupiter, which is now getting high above the horizon by the end of twilight. Saturn is working it's way into the western skies by mid-evening, but still has at least a month of good evening visibility.
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.