Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday March 26th through Sunday April 1st.
The second full moon for the month of March will be on Saturday the 31st. The second full moon in a calendar month is traditionally referred to as a Blue Moon. This is also the second blue moon in 2018 after the month of January saw two full moons as well. The full moon of March is known as the Sap Moon, the Worm Moon, and the Lenten Moon.
Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the Sun on April 1st and will move from our evening skies into our morning skies.
Venus is shining brightly low in the west after sunset and is setting at 9:15 p.m. at midweek. On Wednesday night the planet Uranus will be less than a 10th of a degree from Venus so some observers may be able to catch both planets in the same field of view in binoculars or a small telescope, although the brightness of Venus will overwhelm the much dimmer Uranus.
Jupiter is rising at 11:00 p.m., followed by Mars and Saturn both rising around 2:30 a.m. Mars and Saturn will move closer together in our morning skies all week until they reach their closest point early next week.
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 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. Take the elevator to the 5th floor then take the stairs up to the 6th floor 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.