Skywatchers Report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday June 15th through Sunday June 21st.

The moon is new late on Saturday night into Sunday morning depending on your time zone, so we’ll have a waning crescent moon in our early morning skies all week.

With this new moon, some parts of the planet will get a solar eclipse, although unfortunately it won’t be visible here in North America. This eclipse will be what is known as an Annular Eclipse, where the angular size of the moon isn’t quite large enough to completely block out the disc of the Sun and a ring of sunlight is left around the moon. Observers along a path from eastern central Africa through south Asia and southern China will see the annular eclipse while much of the eastern hemisphere will see varying degrees of a partial eclipse. The next solar eclipse visible here in Texas will be in October 2023.

The June solstice occurs at 4:44 p.m. Saturday the 20th here in central Texas and that day marks the longest amount of sunlight we’ll see this year which will officially total: 14 hours, 6 minutes and 1 second here in Austin.

Mercury is moving back towards the sun so it is low in the west at sunset and is setting at 9:35 p.m. at midweek.

Jupiter is rising at 10:20 p.m. at midweek followed by Saturn about 20 minutes later. Mars rises later at 1:35 a.m. Venus is emerging from conjunction and is rising at 5:15 a.m. at midweek, about an hour and 15 minutes before the sun. A very thin crescent moon will be alongside Venus on Friday morning just before dawn.

All public viewing events on UT campus telescopes are on hold for the time being. 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, McDonald Observatory has been live-streaming night sky tours from west Texas! You can view past events on the McDonald Observatory YouTube channel and you can follow the observatory on Twitter and Facebook to be notified of future events.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.