skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Tuesday May 29th through Sunday June 3rd.

The moon was at first quarter on Monday May 28th and will reach full in the early hours of Monday June 4th, so we will have a waxing gibbous moon all of this week. The Sun, Earth, and Moon are still roughly lined up after the annular eclipse of May 20th so we will see a partial lunar eclipse on Monday before sunrise. Here in Austin, the moon will start to move into the darkest part of Earth's shadow at about 5 a.m. and will reach its greatest eclipse (only about 30% in shadow) at about 6 a.m. For us the eclipse will end at moonset at 6:35 a.m.

Mercury is emerging from conjunction with the sun and is setting shortly after the sun this week. You can still catch Venus very low the west-northwest shortly before sunset. Venus is sinking rapidly towards the sun as it heads toward inferior conjunction next Tuesday when it will cross the sun's disk in a rare transit. The transit of Venus across the sun happens in pairs eight years apart every 105 years. The next transit of Venus after next week's won't be until December 2117. UT Astronomy and the Austin Astronomical Society will be hosting a public viewing event for the transit at Robert Lee Moore Hall on the UT Campus. More information is available at outreach.as.utexas.edu/venus and austinastro.org.

Mars is high in the southwest at sunset and is setting at 2:15 a.m. at midweek. Saturn is up in the south-southeast as the sky darkens and is setting at 4:10 a.m. this week. Jupiter is emerging from conjunction with the sun and is rising at 5:45 a.m. at midweek, about 45 minutes before the sun.

Public viewing nights on UT campus telescopes for the summer resumes next week. Please call back for details.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.