Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday March 5th through Sunday March 18th.
The moon is at third quarter on Friday March 9th, so we'll have a waning gibbous moon for the first part of the week and then a waning crescent moon until the new moon on Saturday March 17th.
Venus and Mercury start the week of March 5th close together low in the west after sunset and the pair will slowly move apart over the next couple of weeks, although they will still be relatively close to one another. Mercury is at greatest elongation on March 15th and then will start to sink back towards the sun. Both Venus and Mercury will be setting about an hour after the sun for the next couple of weeks.
Jupiter is rising at 11:40 p.m. on March 5th, at 11:20 p.m. by March 11th and then at 11:45 p.m. on March 18th after the time change. Look for Jupiter next to the moon in the early morning skies on March 7th.
Mars is rising at 2:00 a.m. on March 5th and then is back to rising at 2:45 a.m. after the time change. The thin crescent moon will be near Mars on the morning of Saturday March 10th.
Saturn is up at 3:05 a.m. on March 5th and at 3:15 a.m. after the time change. A very thin crescent moon will be near Saturn on the morning of Sunday the 10th.
Many states in the US will switch to Daylight Saving Time on the morning of Sunday March 11th when we will skip the 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. hour.
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. There will be no viewing on Wednesday March 14th due to Spring Break.
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. There will be no viewing at the Painter Hall Telescope on March 16 & 17 due to Spring Break.
Please note that all UT campus public viewing will move to 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. starting the week of March 19th.
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.