Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for January 31st through February 6th.
The moon is at third quarter on Wednesday February 2nd. If you were in the right parts of the southern Pacific Ocean or Antarctica on Monday, you would have been able to see the moon pass in front of the planet Jupiter. The moon will occult the star Antares in the morning hours of Friday the 4th for viewers in southern Scandinavia, eastern Europe, the northern Arabian Peninsula and western Asia.
Saturn is still the brightest planet in the evening skies, visible high in the east by the end of twilight. The ringed planet is still near Castor and Pollux in the constellation Gemini.
For more skywatching tips for the week, check out stardate.org
The Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory Board of Visitors will host a free public lecture this Saturday entitled "A New Century of Astronomy". It will be presented by Dr. Wendy Freedman, Director of the Carnegie Observatories. For more information, please see the Astronomy Department homepage at www.as.utexas.edu.
The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights from 7 to 9 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 7 to 9 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.