skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday June 8th through Sunday the 14th.

The moon was full on Sunday the 7th and will be at last quarter on Monday the 15th, so we will have a waning gibbous moon all of this week.

Saturn is high in the southwestern skies at nightfall and is setting at 1:30 a.m. at midweek. All of the rest of the planets visible to the unaided eye are rising after midnight this week. Jupiter is rising at 12:30 a.m. at midweek and look for Jupiter and the moon to pair up on the morning of the 13th.

Mars and Venus are still close to one another low in the east before dawn. The pair rises at 4 a.m. at midweek. Mercury is even lower and rises at 5:15 a.m. and is at its greatest elongation west on Saturday the 13th.

The Space Shuttle Endeavour is due to launch on the morning of Saturday June 13th on a 16-day mission to the International Space Station. This mission will deliver the final components of the Japanese Aerospace Agency’s Kibo laboratory. One of the components is a platform on the outside of the Japanese module for experiments that require direct exposure to space. You can follow the mission online at www.nasa.gov

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.