skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Tuesday May 31st through Sunday June 5th.

The new moon for the month of June is late on Saturday the 4th, or early on Sunday the 5th depending on your time zone, and we'll have a waning crescent moon for most of this week.

Jupiter is now high in the southwest as darkness falls and is setting at 2:05 a.m. at midweek.

Mars is just past its closest approach to the Earth and is shining very brightly low in the southeast as the sun sets. You will be able to see Mars most of the night before it sets at 5:30 a.m.

Saturn is at opposition on Friday the 3rd so it will rise at sunset and set at sunrise and be visible for all of that night.

Mercury is at greatest elongation on Sunday the 5th, so it will be a good time to look for it low in the east before dawn. Mercury rises over an hour before sunrise for most of this week.

Venus is almost in conjunction with the sun and cannot be seen with the unaided eye.

In space anniversaries this week, Thursday June 2nd marks the 50th anniversary of the Surveyor 1 landing on the moon. Surveyor 1 was the first US spacecraft to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, where it operated for approximately 6 months. The Surveyor program gathered vital information for the planning of the Apollo moon landings that began just three years later.

Public viewing on UT campus telescopes has finished for the spring semester. Summer session viewing is currently planned to start the second week in June, but that schedule may slip one week due to continuing maintenance work on the telescopes. Please check back for exact details on starting dates and times.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.