Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday March 23rd through Sunday March 29th.
The new moon for the month of March is early in the morning of Tuesday the 24th and then we’ll have a waxing crescent moon in the early evening skies in the west after sunset for the remainder of the week.
Venus is still high in the west at sunset and will be 50% illuminated on Thursday, so it will look like a small quarter moon through even a small telescope. The crescent moon will be below and to the left of Venus on Friday evening and above and to the left of Venus on Saturday evening. Venus is at its greatest elongation from the sun on Tuesday evening and will be setting at 11:25 p.m. that night, not quite hour hours after sunset.
In the morning skies, Jupiter is rising at 3:45 a.m., followed closely by Mars at 4:00 a.m. and Saturn at 4:10 a.m.
Mercury is at its greatest elongation west late on Monday into the early hours of Tuesday and will be rising at 6:20 a.m., a little over an hour before sunrise.
In space anniversaries this week, Monday March 23rd marks the 55th anniversary of the of the first crewed Gemini mission with astronauts Gus Grissom and John Young aboard. This was the first American mission with two astronauts aboard and the first where the astronauts performed manual flight maneuvers while in orbit.
All public viewing events on UT campus telescopes are on hold for the time being. We will update the website outreach.as.utexas.edu with a new schedule when we are able to resume viewing.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.