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Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Tuesday May 28 through Sunday June 2.

The moon is at third quarter on Thursday the 30th so we’ll have a waning gibbous moon for the first half of the week and a waning crescent in the early morning skies for the second half of the week.

All of the planets and the moon are up in the morning skies this week, although several of the planets will be too close to the sun to see.

Saturn rises first, at 2:30 a.m., and it will be joined by the third quarter moon on Thursday morning.

Neptune rises next, at 3:00 a.m., but you will need a small to medium telescope to see it. Neptune will be just off the limb of the moon late on Friday night into Saturday morning.

Mars is up at 4:00 a.m. and will be near the moon on Sunday morning.

Mercury and Uranus are near one another and are rising at 5:35 a.m. at midweek, about an hour before sunrise. You’ll need at least binoculars to see Uranus, just to the right of the much brighter Mercury.

Jupiter is still emerging from conjunction and is rising at 6:00 a.m., about half an hour before the sun. Venus is heading towards solar conjunction next week and is now lost in the sun’s glare.

In space anniversaries this week, Thursday May 30th marks 50 years since the launch of the Applications Technology Satellite-6, an experimental satellite that at the time was the most powerful telecommunications satellite. The mission carried two dozen experiments and tested several satellite technologies that are still in use today. ATS-6 operated for five years and was decommissioned after three of its four thrusters had failed and is still in a high Earth orbit.

Public viewing on UT campus telescopes has finished for the spring semester. Stay tuned for information on the summer viewing schedule.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.