skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for February 5th to the 11th.

The full moon for the month of February is on Thursday the 8th. This full moon is known as the Snow Moon, the Hunger Moon or the Wolf Moon.

Venus continues to dazzle in the west at sunset. Looking through a telescope will reveal a half-lit Venus which is a sight some people may not expect. Due to the relative alignments of Venus, the Sun and the Earth, we see phases on both Mercury and Venus similar to those of the moon.

This week the Space Shuttle Atlantis is due to launch on a mission to deliver the US laboratory module, named Destiny, to the International Space Station. Launch is currently scheduled to occur on Wednesday in the late afternoon. More information on the mission can be found at spaceflight.nasa.gov

The telescope at Robert Lee Moore hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. The building is located on the southeast corner of 26th and Speedway. Take the elevator 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 7 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays are open to the general public from 7 to 9 p.m. 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.