skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for June 30th through July 6th.

The moon is at first quarter on the night of July 6th.

On July second, a very slim crescent moon will be floating above Jupiter. Mars is rising a little before midnight this week.

On the 4th, the earth is at aphelion, the technical term for its point most distant from the sun. On that day our planet will be 94.5 million miles from the sun, as opposed to its average of 93 million miles.

The second Mars rover didn't get off the ground last week, so NASA will try again this Wednesday at the earliest. To learn more about the mission, log on to the Mars Exploration Rover website at mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/

The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights starting at 9:00 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.

The telescope at Painter hall is open on Fridays for UT students, faculty and staff from 9 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays for the general public from 9 to 11 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about half way between Speedway and Guadalupe.

All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Observing events are weather permitting.

Please note that star party times change throughout the year. Please call this recording to check times before planning a visit to the telescopes.