skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday June 22nd through Sunday June 28th.

The moon is at third quarter on Wednesday the 24th, so we'll start the week with a waxing crescent moon and finish with a waxing gibbous moon.

Venus and Jupiter continue to converge in the western skies after sunset, although they won't reach their closest point to one another until next week. The pair sets around 11:20 p.m. at midweek.

Saturn is up in the south-southeast at sundown and is setting at 4:30 a.m. so it's still visible for most of the night. Look for Saturn just a couple of degrees from the moon on Sunday night.

Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation on Wednesday the 24th and will be up at 5:10 a.m., almost an hour and a half before sunrise. Look for Aldebaran, the bright red star of Taurus the Bull, near Mercury all week.

Mars is still emerging from conjunction and is rising only 15 minutes before the sun.

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.