Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday February 20th through Sunday February 26th.
The new moon for the month of February is on Tuesday night, so we will see a waxing crescent moon in the west after sunset for the remainder of the week.
Mercury is climbing in the west after sunset and is setting at 7:30 p.m. at midweek. Venus is still very bright in the west and is setting at 9:45 p.m. Look for the crescent moon alongside Venus on Saturday evening. Jupiter is above Venus in the west and is setting at 11:00 p.m. at midweek.
Mars is up in the east a little after 7 p.m. this week and is visible for the remainder of the night. Saturn follows, rising at 10:30 p.m.
Monday February 20th marks the 50th anniversary of John Glenn's flight in the Mercury capsule Friendship 7 when he became the first American to orbit the Earth. NASA is marking the anniversary with images and a documentary about John Glenn and his historic mission that you can view on their website at www.nasa.gov.
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. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time when a viewing is cancelled.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.