skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday June 16th through Sunday the 22nd.

The moon is full on Wednesday the 18th. This full moon is called the Flower Moon, the Strawberry Moon, the Rose Moon and the Honey Moon. Look for Jupiter alongside the moon on the night of the 19th. The pair will be rising a little before 10 p.m. that evening.

Mars and Saturn are still in the west as the sky darkens, but both are getting lower each night and will soon be low in the west when the sun sets. Mars is setting at midnight at midweek and Saturn is setting half an hour later. Mercury is now rising about 50 minutes before the sun at midweek. Venus just recently passed behind the sun from our perspective and is still very close to the Sun.

The summer solstice occurs right about 7 p.m. in the US central time zone on June 20th. After that day the nights will gradually begin to lengthen and the days will grow shorter until we reach the winter solstice in December.

The space shuttle Discovery landed safely on Saturday the 14th after delivering a new module to the space station. This week is also the 25th anniversary of Sally Ride’s flight aboard the space shuttle Challenger becoming the first US woman to go into space. Also this week, 20 years earlier in 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space.

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.