skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday June 14th through Sunday June 20th.

The moon is at first quarter on the night of Friday the 18th.

Look for the thin crescent moon and a very bright Venus together in the west in the early evening after sunset on Monday and Tuesday. Venus is setting a little after 11 p.m. this week.

On Wednesday, look for Mars (which will look like a bright orange star) above the crescent moon. On Thursday, Mars will be to the right of the moon. Mars sets at 12:45 a.m. at mid-week.

On Friday, Saturn will be above the moon and on Saturday it will be to the right of the moon. Saturn is setting at about 1:45 a.m. at mid-week.

Jupiter and Uranus are still only about a degree apart and rise a little before 2 a.m. this week. Mercury is rising about an hour before the sun at midweek as it moves towards conjunction with the sun at the end of the month.

Over the past weekend, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Hayabusa spacecraft re-entered the Earth's atmosphere and returned a capsule that may contain samples from an asteroid. The capsule was retrieved from its landing place in South Australia and will be taken to Japan for further study.

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. this summer. 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. this summer. 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.