skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for June 9th through the 15th.

The full moon for the month of June is on Saturday the 14th. This full moon is known by a variety of nicknames including the Flower Moon, the Rose Moon, the Strawberry Moon and appropriately for a popular month for weddings -- the Honey Moon.

Jupiter is now getting low in the west as twilight ends. Mars is now rising at about 12:45 a.m. as it heads towards a spectacular apparition later this summer.

As Mars and Earth draw closer together over the next few months, several spacecraft will be on their way to the Red Planet. The European Mars Express mission successfully launched last week, carrying with it the Beagle 2, an autonomous station named in honor of the ship where Charles Darwin served as naturalist. The spacecraft is due to arrive at Mars this December.

The mars Exploration Rover mission is set to launch the first of two spacecraft this week, with the second following a few weeks later. The rovers are due to land in January 2004 and will explore opposite sides of the planet.

The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights starting at 9:00 p.m. RLM is located on the southeast corner of Dean Keeton and Speedway. Take the elevators to the 17th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.

The telescope at Painter hall is open on Fridays for UT students, faculty and staff from 9 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays for the general public from 9 to 11 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about half way between Speedway and Guadalupe.

All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Observing events are weather permitting.

Please note that star party times change throughout the year.