The Transylvania Times -

Articles written by Dr. Bob Hayward

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Mountain Skies All Five Naked-Eye Planets In The Evening Sky

The Planets In a rare happenstance, all five of the naked-eye planets are in our evening sky for a couple of weeks. But I must admit that two of them are rather challenging to find. So, get out your binoculars or telescope, wait... — Updated 8/16/2021


Mountain Skies Three Birds In The Evening Sky

The Stars Now that summer is upon us, it is not too early to look high in the east in the early evening for the so-called "Summer Triangle." This pattern of three bright stars is... — Updated 7/19/2021


Mountain Skies Mars And Venus Pass In The Night

The Planets With the exception of tiny Mercury in the morning twilight, this month the visible planets present themselves in two pairs. First, as the sun sets in the west, we can find the terrestrial planets, Venus and Mars,... — Updated 7/5/2021


Mountain Skies Thursday's Sun Rises In Partial Eclipse

ECLIPSES OCCUR IN “SEASONS” Eclipse Seasons: Within the past month we in the Carolinas have experienced the very beginning of a total lunar eclipse followed two weeks later by a quick glimpse of the partial phase of an annular... — Updated 6/21/2021


Mountain Skies Thursday's Sun Rises In Partial Eclipse

Annular Solar Eclipse First, think back to Aug. 21, 2017, when those of us in Brevard and nearby were treated to the most spectacular natural phenomenon – a total eclipse of the sun. What we saw then was the moon, in its monthly... — Updated 6/7/2021


Beginning Of Lunar Eclipse Visible Wednesday Morning

Total Lunar Eclipse In 2021 there will be four eclipses, two each solar and lunar. The first of these is a total eclipse of the moon. Unfortunately for those of us observing from the east coast, we will see just the first part of... — Updated 5/24/2021


Mars Fading But Not Forgotten

The Planets We are still experiencing that beautiful march of the three visible outer planets in the evening sky. The red planet Mars is well up in the east after sunset. It passed through its opposition and closest approach to... — Updated 11/5/2020


Mountain Skies: Moon And Two Planets Appear Before July 4 Fireworks

The Planets Mercury and Mars are quickly disappearing from the evening sky along with Venus in the predawn sky. As the earth continues to pull away from Mars, that brilliant red... — Updated 7/1/2019


Mountain Skies: Mars And Mercury Flip-Flop In The Evening Sky

The Planets Mars has been slowly sinking into the evening twilight since late last year. Late last month, it was joined by Mercury, which came out from behind the sun and can now be... — Updated 6/17/2019


Mountain Skies: Four Planets Before Midnight This Month

The Stars An early evening in June is sometimes referred to as “The Arcturus Hour.” One can find this brilliant ginger-colored star by using the handle of the Big Dipper.... — Updated 6/3/2019


Mountain Skies: The Planets Are Coming! The Planets Are Coming!

The Planets As we mentioned above, the Earth orbits the sun in a year. That’s 360 degrees in 365¼ days roughly. The effect of this to our observing is that the entire sky appears to be 1° farther west every 24 hours. This is... — Updated 5/20/2019


Mountain Skies: Jupiter And Saturn Shift Into Reverse

The Stars We know spring is now in full swing as we watch Leo, the lion, climb higher in the eastern sky each night. See if you can spot a pattern traditionally referred to as the sickle. This marks the head and mane of the... — Updated 4/22/2019


Mountain Skies: Mars Crosses Face Of Taurus, The Bull

The Planets Under normal circumstances the beautiful planet Venus, now our “morning star” in the east before dawn, is the brightest nighttime object after the moon. The second brightest planet is usually the giant Jupiter.... — Updated 4/8/2019


Mountain Skies: Vernal Equinox Occurs Wednesday Evening

The Sun The first day of spring is marked by the vernal or spring equinox, the moment in time when the sun, in its apparent path around the sky, crosses the celestial equator on its way north for the spring and summer. This year... — Updated 3/18/2019


Mountain Skies: Wives And Hungry Husbands In The Winter Sky

The Stars The bright stars of the winter skies still dominate the evening. As mentioned last month, the central figure, Orion, the hunter, stands high in the south as the sun sets. Using the belt of Orion as a pointer, we can draw... — Updated 3/4/2019


Mountain Skies: Perseid Meteor Shower Due This Weekend

The Stars For the constellation study this time, let us go a bit later in the evening than usual. Rising in the northeast about sunset is the beautiful constellation of Cassiopeia, the queen, sometimes referred to as “the lady in... — Updated 8/7/2017


Mountain Skies: The 'Summer Triangle' Is For The Birds!

Now that summer is upon us, it's not too early to look high in the east in the early evening for the so-called "Summer Triangle." This pattern of three bright stars is not one of... — Updated 7/17/2017


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