skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday July 6th through Monday July 13th.

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

Venus and Jupiter have passed their closest point to one another, but they are still near one another in the western skies after sunset and make a picturesque pair. Both are setting around 10:45 p.m. at midweek.

Saturn will be up in the south-southeast at sunset and due south by 10 p.m. Saturn sets at 3:30 a.m. this week.

Mercury is moving back towards the sun and is rising at 5:30 a.m. at midweek, about an hour before the sun.

Mars is slowly moving away from the sun but it still rising only half an hour before the sun.

The Earth is at aphelion, it's farthest in its orbit, on Monday July 6th when it will be about 152 million kilometers or about 94.4 million miles away from the sun. This is about 5 million kilometers farther than when it was at its closest back in January.

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.