skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday June 20th through Sunday the 26th.

The moon is at third quarter on the morning of Thursday the 23rd, so we'll have a waning gibbous moon for the first part of the week and a waning crescent for the remainder. Also, you can find a nice gallery of photos from last week's total lunar eclipse at www.spaceweather.com

The northern hemisphere summer solstice occurs at 12:16 p.m. central time on Tuesday the 21st. For those of us north of the equator, the sun will reach its farthest point north of the celestial equator and will cut its largest arc across our sky giving us the longest day of the year. For our friends in the southern hemisphere, the opposite occurs and it is the winter solstice with the shortest day of the year.

Mercury is setting about an hour after the sun at midweek so you might be able to catch it if you have a good view of the western horizon. Saturn is now high in the southwest as twilight ends and is setting at 2 a.m. Jupiter doesn't rise until around 3 a.m. with Mars following at 4:30 a.m. and Venus is up at 5:30 a.m.

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.