Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday June 17th through Sunday June 23rd.
The moon was full early on the morning of Monday the 17th and we'll have a waning gibbous moon for the remainder of the week. The full moon for the month of June is known as the Flower Moon, the Strawberry Moon, the Rose Moon, and the Honey Moon.
The summer solstice for the northern hemisphere (and the winter solstice for the southern hemisphere) occurs on Friday June 21 at 10:54 a.m. Central Daylight Time. On this day the sun will make its largest arc across our skies so we'll have the greatest amount of daylight here in the northern hemisphere. The opposite will occur in the southern hemisphere where they will have the shortest amount of daylight for the year.
Mercury is at its greatest elongation in our evening skies on Sunday the 23rd when it will be setting nearly two hours after the sun, making this a good time to try to spot the planet.
Mars will be near Mercury all week and will have a close approach of just two tenths of a degree on Tuesday night. Both planets will be setting around 10:20 p.m. this week.
Jupiter is rising at 7:35 p.m. and setting at 5:55 a.m., so it is still visible for most of the night.
Saturn is rising at 9:45 p.m. Look for Saturn just above the moon on Tuesday night.
Venus is rising at 5:30 a.m. this week, about an hour before the sun.
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 Fridays and Saturdays 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. Take the elevator to the 5th floor and then take the stairs up to the 6th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.
Please arrive at RLM or Painter Hall before 10 p.m. to ensure access to the buildings.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that viewing times and availability change throughout the year so please check the schedule before planning a visit. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 45 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.