skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday June 16th through Sunday June 22nd.

The moon is at third quarter on Thursday the 19th so we'll start the week with a waning gibbous moon and finish with a waning crescent.

Also on Thursday the 19th, Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the sun when it will pass between the Earth and Sun and re-appear in our morning skies in the next couple of weeks.

Jupiter is now fairly low in the west-northwest at sunset and is setting about an hour and a half after the sun.

Mars is up in the south-southwest at sundown and is near the bright star Spica in the constellation Virgo. Mars is setting at 2:20 a.m. at midweek.

Saturn is up in the south-southeast at nightfall and is setting at 4:10 a.m. so it is still visible for most of the night.

Venus is rising at 4:30 a.m. so it is still visible in the east before sunrise as the "morning star".

The summer solstice for the northern hemisphere occurs at 5:51 a.m. central daylight time on June 21stand marks the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer. For the southern hemisphere, this will be the winter solstice and will mark the shortest day of the year and beginning of winter.

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.