Skywatchers Report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday February 25th through Sunday March 3rd.

The moon is at last quarter on Tuesday February 26th and after that we'll have a waning crescent moon in our morning skies for the remainder of the week.

Mercury is at greatest elongation on the night of the 26th, so observers with a good view of the western horizon should be able to pick it out from the evening twilight this week. Mercury is setting at 7:50 p.m. at midweek, about an hour and 20 minutes after the sun.

Mars is high in the west at sundown and is setting at 11:05 p.m.

Jupiter is rising at 2:20 a.m. this week. Look for the crescent moon above Jupiter on Wednesday morning.

Saturn is rising at 4:10 a.m., followed by Venus at 4:45 a.m. A very thin crescent moon will be alongside Saturn on Friday morning and close to Venus on Saturday morning.

This Saturday is the annual Explore UT open house event all throughout the University of Texas campus from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. UT Astronomy will have several activities on the roof of Robert Lee Moore Hall, including safe solar viewing, weather permitting. You can learn more about the entire event at exploreut.utexas.edu

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. Take the elevator to the 5th floor then take the stairs up to the 6th floor 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.