skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday May 31st through Sunday June 6th.

The moon is at last quarter late on Tuesday night and then we’ll have a waning crescent moon in the early morning skies for the remainder of the week.

Mercury is moving back towards its next conjunction with the sun and is setting at 9:10 p.m. at midweek. Venus is above Mercury and is setting a little before 10 p.m. this week.

Mars is up in the west after sunset and is visible to the left of the stars Castor and Pollux of the constellation Gemini and is setting at 11:30 p.m.

In the skies after midnight, Saturn is rising at 12:30 a.m. followed by Jupiter at 1:25 a.m. Saturn was to the upper right of the moon on Monday morning and Jupiter will be above the moon on Tuesday morning.

In space anniversaries this week, the Surveyor 1 mission became the first US spacecraft to land on the moon 55 years ago on June 2. Surveyor helped to gather data in support of the Apollo moon landings that began a few years later.

And 30 years ago, on June 5th, the space shuttle Columbia launched carrying the Spacelab module on its fifth major mission and the first that was completely dedicated to life sciences. This was also the first spaceflight to include three women on its crew.

All public viewing events on UT campus telescopes are currently on hold. We will update the website outreach.as.utexas.edu with a new schedule when we are able to resume viewing.

While you’re waiting for in-person telescope viewing to resume, you can tune in to McDonald Observatory live streams from west Texas. You can view past events on the McDonald Observatory YouTube channel and you can follow the observatory on TwitterFacebook and at McDonaldObservatory.org to be notified of future events.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.