Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for June 12th through the 18th.
The moon is at third quarter on Sunday the 18th.
In the west Mercury is climbing a little higher each night, so you should be able to see it in the west-northwest if you have a good view of the horizon after sunset. Also in the west are Mars and Saturn, which have been slowing moving towards each other. They will reach their closest point, about half a degree apart, this weekend. Mars will be moving through the Beehive open star cluster as it draws closer to Saturn.
Jupiter is still brilliant in the south at around 10 p.m. Venus is visible in the east before sunrise.
The constellation Scorpius is now completely above the horizon by about 10 p.m., which is a sign that summer is indeed here. Look for the brightest star in the constellation, Antares, high in the southeast as evening twilight ends.
Public viewing at the Painter Hall telescope is on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 to 10:30 p.m. this summer. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe. Painter viewing will run through August 12th.
The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights from 9 to 10:30 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. Wednesday night viewing will run through July 26th.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that star party times and availability change throughout the year. Please call this recording before planning a visit to the telescopes. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before viewing start time only on nights when star parties are cancelled.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.