skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday February 10th through Sunday February 16th.

The full moon for the month of February is on Friday the 14th so we'll start the week with a waxing gibbous moon and have a waning gibbous moon for the weekend. This full moon is known as the Snow Moon, the Wolf Moon, and the Hunger Moon.

Mercury is now sinking back towards the sun and will be at inferior conjunction late on Saturday, when it will pass between in front of the sun from the Earth's point of view and move from the evening skies into the morning skies.

Jupiter is high in the east at sunset and is setting at 4:45 a.m. so it is still visible for most of the night. Look for the moon and Jupiter to pair up on Monday night.

Mars is rising at 10:45 p.m. at midweek and is still near the bright star Spica in the constellation Virgo. Saturn is currently rising at 1 a.m. Venus is rising at 4:40 a.m. and is shining brightly as morning twilight begins.

In space anniversaries, Saturday February 15th marks the 450th anniversary of the birth of Galileo Galilei in Pisa, Italy.

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.