skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for June 19th through the 25th.

The moon is new on Sunday the 25th.

There are still several planets to see in the evening skies, although three of them are fairly low in the west as it gets dark after sunset. Mars and Saturn are still close together, although they are now moving farther apart after reaching a close encounter on Saturday. Mercury is the lowest of the three in the west-northwest. It reaches its greatest elongation east on Tuesday night and will then start to sink back towards the horizon each night. Mars and Saturn are up a little higher with Saturn being the brighter of the two. Jupiter is high in the south at around 9:30 p.m.

The summer solstice for the northern hemisphere occurs at 7:26 a.m. central daylight time. This is the point where the sun reaches its farthest point north in the sky and the day is at its longest. The latest sunset will actually occur a few days to a week later depending on your latitude, so the days will still feel like they are getting longer for a short time after the solstice. The earliest sunrise occurred before the solstice.

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.