Eagle Eye Observatory

March 2023 Eagle Eye Observatory

Every day on Earth starts at midnight on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) when the North/South meridian passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England.

Daylight Savings Time begins this year in Texas on Sunday, March 12 at 2:00/am. The Central Time Zone is an area 6 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-6) during the winter months (referred to as Central Standard Time or CST) and 5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-5) during the summer months (referred to as Central Daylight Time or CDT). Every day on Earth starts at midnight on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) when the North/South meridian passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England.

In March, the Winter Circle of bright stars is directly overhead. These stars are in six different constellations.

There are many exciting visuals in the Winter Circle. Starting with Procyon, the brightest star in Canis Minor. It is the 8th brightest star in the sky at 11.4 light years from our star (Sun) and the 14th closest. The next star in the Winter Circle moving anti-clockwise is Sirius A, commonly called the Dog Star in the constellation Canis Major. Sirius A is the brightest star in the sky at a visual magnitude of -1.44 and is 8.6 lightyears from the Sun. Moving on to the constellation Orion, the alpha and beta stars are Rigel and Betelgeuse. Also near the tip of Orion’s sword is the Great Orion Nebula (M42), a spectacular star-forming region (stellar nursery). Continuing around the circle is the bright star Aldebaran (the eye of the bull) in Taurus. Aldebaran is an orange giant star, spectral class K5 III and 425 times the Sun’s luminosity, and is 66.6 lightyears away from the Sun. The next constellation, Auriga, contains the bright star Capella, the brightest star in Auriga at 42.8 lightyears away.

The last constellation in the Winter Circle is Gemini, containing Castor and Pollux, the Gemini twins. Castor is the brightest (alpha) star and is a visual binary, two stars gravitationally bound to each other. Pollux is 51 lightyears from Castor and is a variable binary 33.8 lightyears away from Earth.

During March,  are two minor meteor showers. The first is Gamma Normids peaking on 3/13 and Zeta Serpentids on 3/25. These showers produce no more than two meteors per hour at peak times.

Along the ecliptic, the Beehive Cluster is overhead in the constellation Cancer (M44). The distance to this cluster was measured at 577 lightyears. To the unaided eye, it looks like a fuzzy star. Binoculars will resolve it to individual stars. Altogether, the Beehive probably contains at least 1000 members, with a total mass of 500 – 600 Suns. Of these, 68% are M dwarfs, 30% are sunlike F, G, and K stars, and about 2% are bright class A stars. Also present are five giants (four of spectral class K0 III and a fifth of class G0 III). So far, eleven white dwarfs have been identified. These represent the final evolutionary phase of the cluster’s most massive members, which initially belonged to spectral class B. Brown dwarfs, however, are extremely rare in this cluster, probably lost by tidal stripping from its halo. These are easily viewed through the Observatory Telescopes on clear nights under dark skies.

Please make your reservations for program times on our website, at canyonoftheeagles.com.

Thanks and keep looking up,

Jim Sheets


Resort guests  can enjoy Eagle Eye Observatory (EEO) for a $10 per person program fee for all guestroom, RV, and campsite rates guests.  Guests must sign up through Guests Services at (512)334-2070. Availability is based on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Day visitors may attend any session on any night the observatory is open with availability by paying $20 per person (all ages) inclusive of applicable taxes and fees.

The observatory is staffed by a dedicated and knowledgeable astronomer and is now open daily. Each EEO session is one hour, with a maximum of 20 guests per session.

  • Monday Sessions:         9 pm, 10 pm
  • Tuesday Sessions:         9 pm, 10 pm
  • Wednesday Sessions:  9 pm, 10 pm
  • Thursday Sessions:       9 pm, 10 pm
  • Friday Sessions:              9 pm, 10 pm, 11 pm
  • Saturday Sessions:        9 pm, 10 pm, 11 pm
  • Sunday Sessions:            9 pm, 10 pm

Sessions are held weather permitting. When the weather does not allow telescope viewing, EEO provides programs via a large screen television with planetarium software, videos, and comprehensive interactive Q/A sessions at the observatory or a location TBD.

This is a very popular program. For more information or to book your Eagle Eye Observatory experience, please call 512-334-2070.  No refunds, reschedules, or rainchecks apply.  Management reserves the right to change or modify any terms or conditions. 

The observatory is a sliding-roof design with two independently retractable roof sections.  Each roof section moves to create a variable size, side-viewing slit, or both sections may be moved to open the entire structure to the sky. Eagle Eye Observatory provides modern telescopes with computer-enhanced imaging and astronomical instruments.

Telescopes include:

  • 14” clear aperture Celestron 1400HD f/11 reflector with Edge Technology, fully automated on an equatorial mount with Go-To targeting,
  • 12” aperture Meade Schmidt Cassegrain f/10 Reflector on an Alt/Az fork mount with Go-To Technology.
  • 11” Celestron Schmidt Cassegrain f/10 converted to f/2 via HyperStar lens with Mallincam Xterminator video camera.
  • Orion ED100 100mm Apochromatic Refractor Telescope.
  • Coronado Solarmax 90mm Double Stack dedicated Solar Telescope.

BYOT (Bring Your Own Telescope)

Guests may now bring their own telescope and set up on one of the 31 observatory pads located on the grounds just outside the observatory during regular observatory hours. There is no charge for setting up on a pad and enjoying the fabulous dark sky for astronomical viewing. We ask that you not disturb or enter the observatory when the astronomer conducts sessions. Arrive before nightfall to safely setup your equipment. Please set-up your telescope only on the pads located between the parking lot and the observatory, not the circle pads. Please do not drive your car onto the grassy field. Pets and smoking are not permitted. Please use only red flashlights and respect others on the field by remaining quiet and refraining from playing music.