skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday March 23rd through Sunday March 29th.

The moon is at first quarter late on Thursday, so we'll start the week with a waxing crescent moon and finish with a waxing gibbous moon.

Venus continues to shine brightly in the western skies after sunset and is setting at 10:30 p.m. at midweek. Look for a much fainter Mars below Venus. Mars is setting at 9:20 p.m. this week.

Jupiter is high in the southeast at sundown and is setting 5:05 a.m. so it is still visible for the majority of the night.

Saturn is rising at 12:10 a.m. at midweek and is visible for the remainder of the night.

Mercury is moving back towards the sun and is up 7:00 a.m. at midweek, just half an hour before sunrise.

In last week's space anniversaries, March 18th marked the 50th anniversary of the first spacewalk, performed by Alexei Leonov during the Voskhod 2 mission.

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.

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.