skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday February 2nd through Sunday February 8th.

The full moon for the month of February is on Tuesday night and we'll have a waning gibbous moon for the remainder of the week. This full moon is known as the Snow Moon, the Wolf Moon, and the Hunger Moon.

Venus is visible in the evening twilight in the west-southwest and is setting at 8:05 p.m. at midweek. Mars is above Venus and is setting at 8:40 p.m. The two planets will continue to move close to one another over the next couple of weeks.

Over in the east, Jupiter is at opposition on Friday the 6th, so it will rise at sunset and set at sunrise that day. Look for Jupiter about 5 degrees from the full moon on Tuesday evening.

Saturn is rising at 2:20 a.m. at midweek, which is now 5 hours before sunrise, giving early risers a few hours of dark skies to observe the ringed planet.

Mercury is emerging from conjunction with the sun and is up about an hour before sunrise by the end of the week.

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights currently from 7 to 9 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 currently from 7 to 9 p.m. 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 so please check the schedule before planning a visit. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 45 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.