skywatchers report

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

The full moon for the month of March is on Thursday the 5th so we'll have a waxing gibbous moon for the first half of the week and a waning gibbous moon for the remainder of the week. This full moon is known as the Sap Moon, the Worm Moon, and the Lenten Moon.

Venus dominates the western skies after sunset and is setting at 8:55 p.m. at midweek. Mars is visible a few degrees below Venus and is setting at 8:30 p.m. On Wednesday night, the planet Uranus will be just a few tenths of a degree away from Venus, although Uranus will be much, much fainter than Venus.

Jupiter is dominating the eastern skies after sunset and is visible most of the night, setting at 5:30 a.m. Look for Jupiter a few degrees from the moon on Monday night.

Saturn is rising at 12:35 a.m. and is still near the top of the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion.

This weekend marks the return to daylight saving time when we will move our clocks forward and skip the 2 a.m. hour Sunday morning.

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.

Please note that next week all star party times will change to 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. following the change to daylight time this weekend.

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.