Skywatchers Report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday June 4th through Sunday June 10th.

The moon is at third quarter on Wednesday the 6th so we'll start the week with a waning gibbous moon and finish with a waning crescent moon in the early morning skies.

Mercury is at superior conjunction on Tuesday when it will pass behind the sun from the Earth's point of view and move from our morning skies into our evening skies.

Venus is still climbing away from the sun and is shining brightly in the west after sunset at magnitude -4.0 Venus is setting a little after 11:00 p.m. this week.

Jupiter is up in the south-southeast at nightfall and is setting at 4:45 a.m. so it is still visible for a lot of the night.

Saturn is rising at 9:50 p.m. this week so it is visible for most of the night as well.

Mars rounds out the planets visible to the unaided eye and is rising at 11:55 p.m. Mars has now reached magnitude -1.4 in brightness and will continue to grow in angular size and brightness through early August.

In space anniversaries, Spirit, the first of the twin Mars Explorations Rovers, launched 15 years ago this Sunday. Spirit landed on Mars the following January and operated until March 2010.

Public viewing at the 16-inch telescope on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall will start for the summer next week.

Public viewing at the 9-inch refractor at Painter Hall resumes this week on Fridays and Saturdays from 9:00 to 10:30 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe and is northeast of the UT Tower. Take the elevator to the 5th floor and then take the stairs up to the 6th floor and follow the signs to the telescope. Please arrive before 10 p.m. to ensure access to the building.

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.