skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday June 7th through Sunday June 13th.

The new moon for the month of June is on Saturday the 12th.

Venus is at magnitude -4 in the west after sunset and is still near the twin stars Castor and Pollux of the constellation Gemini. Venus sets around 11 p.m. this week.

Mars high in the west at sundown and is still fairly close to the star Regulus in the constellation Leo, although the pair are not as close as they were last week. Mars is setting around 1 a.m. this week. Saturn is high in the southwest as the sunsets and is setting at 2:15 a.m. at mid-week.

Jupiter and Uranus are still close to one another and rising at 2:15 a.m., just as Saturn is setting. Mercury is rising at about 5:30 a.m. Look for the very thin crescent moon above Mercury on the morning of June 10th.

Last week two amateur astronomers witnessed another impact on Jupiter, coming not quite a year after one of them, Anthony Wesley of Australia, observed another impact on the giant planet. This impact does not appear to have been as large as the one last year since observatories have not been able to detect a mark in the clouds as they were last year and as we saw with the impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1994.

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights from 9:00 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 from 9:00 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. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before the scheduled start time when a viewing is cancelled.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.