skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Tuesday July 5th through Sunday July 10th.

The new moon for the month of July was on Monday the 4th and it will reach first quarter on Tuesday July 12th so we will have a waxing crescent moon in our early evening skies for all of this week.

Mercury is in superior conjunction with the Sun on Thursday the 7th when it will pass behind the Sun from the Earth's point of view and move from our morning skies to our evening skies.

Venus is slowly emerging from the Sun's glare after its own conjunction with the sun and the two inner planets will move close to one another over the next couple of weeks, although they will be too close to the Sun to see.

Jupiter is in the west-southwest at sunset and is setting at midnight this week. Look for the thin crescent moon next to Jupiter on Friday and Saturday nights. Jupiter gained a new satellite on Monday July 4th when the Juno spacecraft entered orbit around the gas giant. The mission is currently scheduled to orbit Jupiter until February 2018. You can learn more about the mission at nasa.gov/juno

Mars is high in the south in the early evenings and is setting at 3 a.m. this week.  Saturn is to the left of Mars and is setting at 4:15 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 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.