skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday March 9th through Sunday March 22nd.

The moon is at third quarter on Friday, March 13th and will be new on Friday the 20th. That new moon will create a total solar eclipse that will be visible in the North Atlantic. The main landmass that will see totality is the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, but a partial eclipse will be visible across Europe, North Africa, and western Asia.

The equinox also occurs on Friday March 20th at 10:45 p.m. US central daylight time. This is one of the two days of the year when the sun rises due east and sets due west and day and night are approximately equal.

Venus is still shining brightly in the west at sunset and is setting at 10 p.m. on March 9th, and at 10:25 p.m. by March 22nd. Look for a thin crescent moon alongside Venus on the 22nd.

Mars is still visible below Venus and is setting at 9:30 p.m. on March 9th and at 9:20 by March 22nd. Look for Uranus about a third of a degree from Mars on Wednesday the 11th.

Jupiter is well up in the east at sunset and set at 6:15 a.m. on March 9th and will set at 5:20 a.m. on the 22nd.

Saturn is rising at 1:20 a.m. on March 10th and will be rising at 12:30 a.m. by March 22nd.

Mercury is sinking back towards the sun and rises at 6:45 a.m. on March 10th and will be up at 6:55 a.m. by the 22nd, just 35 minutes before the Sun.

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights now from 8:30 to 10:30 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 now from to 8:30 to 10:30 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 there will be no viewing on UT campus telescopes the week of March 16th due to spring break.

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.