skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday March 30th through Sunday April 5th.

The full moon for the month of April is on Saturday the 4th, so we'll have a waxing gibbous moon for most of the week. This full moon is known as the Egg Moon and the Grass Moon.

There was a solar eclipse with the new moon two weeks ago, so it may not be surprising that there is a lunar eclipse with the full moon this week.  For central Texas, the first visible part of the eclipse will be seen at 5:15 a.m. Saturday morning and the eclipse will have a short total phase of about 5 minutes starting at 6:57 a.m. The moon will still be mostly eclipsed when it sets at 7:22 a.m. Due to the early hour, there will be no official public viewing of the eclipse at UT.

Venus continues to dominate the western skies after sunset and is setting at 10:45 p.m.  Mars is visible below Venus and is setting at 9:15 p.m.

Jupiter is shining brightly high in the southeast at sunset and is setting at 4:35 a.m. Saturn is rising in the east-southeast at 11:40 p.m. at midweek and is visible for the remainder of the night.

Mercury is now very close to the sun as it heads towards conjunction next week.

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights currently 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 currently 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. 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.