skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday March 31st through Sunday April 6

The moon was new on Sunday March 30th and will reach first quarter on Monday April 7th so we'll have a waxing crescent moon in our early evening skies for all of this week.

Jupiter is high in the west at sunset and is setting at 2:35 a.m. so it is still visible for a large part of the night. Look for the crescent moon next to Jupiter on Sunday evening. Below Jupiter, the winter constellation of Orion the Hunter is now low in the west as we head further into spring.

Mars continues to grow in brightness and is now up at 8:15 p.m. at midweek making it another easy early evening target.

Following behind Mars, Saturn is rising at 10:40 p.m., closing out a triplet of bright planets in our evening skies.

In the morning skies, Venus is up a little after 5 a.m., still rising over two hours before the sun. Mercury follows at 6:30 a.m. and might be more difficult to pick out from the glow of dawn.

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. 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.