Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for June 27th through July 4th.
The moon is at third quarter on Tuesday the 28th.
Venus, Saturn and Mercury are still close together this week, although they are now starting to drift apart. Saturn will drop closer to the sun each day, while Mercury and Venus continue to rise. On Monday night, Mercury and Venus will be less than a tenth of a degree apart in the western skies shortly after sunset. Observers with binoculars and telescopes with wide-field eyepieces can easily see both planets at the same time. On Sunday, both Mercury and Venus will be passing through the Beehive open star cluster.
Jupiter is still visible high in the southwest during evening twilight. Mars is rising around 1:40 a.m. this week. Look for Mars and the Moon less than 2 degree apart on Wednesday morning.
Public viewing at the Painter Hall Telescope is on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 to 11 p.m. this summer. Painter Hall is located on the corner of 24th and Inner Campus Drive, about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe, and just north of the UT Tower.
There will be no Wednesday night viewing at Robert Lee Moore Hall this summer due to roof construction.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that star party times and availability change throughout the year. Please call this recording before planning a visit to the telescopes. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before viewing start time only on nights when star parties are cancelled.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report and have a happy and safe July Fourth holiday!