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Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday June 10 through Sunday June 16.

The moon is at first quarter early in the morning hours of Friday the 14th so we’ll have a waxing crescent moon in our western evening skies to start the week and a waxing gibbous moon for the weekend.

Mercury is in superior conjunction with the Sun on Friday the 14th when it will pass behind the Sun from the Earth’s perspective. After conjunction, Mercury will join Venus in our early evening skies, although both planets will be too close to the Sun to see for a few more weeks.

Saturn is rising at 1:35 a.m. as it makes its way back to our early evening skies for the fall.

Mars is rising at 3:35 a.m. and Jupiter follows at 5:20 a.m.

And in an upcoming space anniversary, although we don’t know for sure exactly when it will happen, the binary star pair T Coronae Borealis, a recurrent nova, is due to brighten substantially at some point in the next few months. The stars normally shine at around 10th magnitude and can only be seen with a telescope, but about every 80 years, the system brightens to magnitude 2 or 3 and can be seen with the naked eye. Those monitoring the stars expect the next outburst and brightening to come in the next few months before it will fade again back to 10th magnitude weeks after the nova flares.

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of the Physics, Math, and Astronomy building is on Wednesday nights from 9:00 to 10:30 p.m. this summer. PMA 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.

There will be no public viewing at the Painter Hall Telescope this summer. Friday and Saturday night viewing at Painter Hall will resume in the fall semester.

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.