'When, as a child, I laughed and wept, time crept.

When, as a youth, I dreamt and talked, time walked.

When I became a full grown man, time ran.

When, older still, I daily grew, time flew.

Soon I shall find, on travelling on, time gone !'

Some lines written on a clock in the Cathedral Church of Christ and The Blessed Virgin Mary, Chester, U.K.

John's SkyNotes

C/2020 F3
Imaged on Saturday, July 11, by Maurice Bradwell from Crofton , WAKEFIELD, West Yorkshire. Thanks Maurice!

First I must point out that this is an educational site (I was and am a teacher!), which I update daily. I invite you to download any of the material you find here. Therefore please feel free to download any of the content, which could be of use, or of interest to you. That is what this 'SKYNOTES' website is here for, after all! 

Welcome to, John's simple astronomy site where you will find information about what is happening in the night sky from the point of view of Scarborough in the United kingdom, latitude 54 deg. 17 minutes north, longitude 00 deg. 25 minutes west,(situated on the east coast, midway between London and Edinburgh, and also mainland Britain); as well as what I hope are other interesting bits and pieces, of use to everyone.

Historically, these 'Skynotes' are a direct cyber-descendent, of the paper Sky notes I prepared, for many years, by hand, for members, at each meeting of the Scarborough Astronomical Society from the moment the Society began in February, 1976. In those days, I produced all the illustrations including the star charts by hand, but now, with the advent of excellent astronomy software programs, I am able to use much better graphics, for which I must thank the many programmers who have produced these wonderful software gems. In the credits section you will find a list of these amazing sources which allow me to continue to produce my 'Skynotes', for the benefit of all. It does not seem that they have been produced continuously for over 46 years, but as the Latin inscription reminds us: tempvs fvgit ! (time flies)!. There are many 'pages' in this different version of 'Skynotes'. These are listed in the MENU at the top of the page. My hope is that you find within them something of interest, and may I, here, express my gratitude to the many people who have already visited, this, my small contribution towards the popularisation of astronomy, which has been my lifelong aim and ambition.

I record here also a special 'Thank-you' for two very special teachers. First, Miss M Walker (later Mrs Martin). I was in her form at Normanton Secondary Modern school, before transferring to the grammar school at the age of 13. She gave me a small note nook in which to write about and draw events taking place in the night sky. This was to be the tiny 'seed' which would eventually grow into these 'Skynotes'. Secondly, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the late Senior English Master, of Normanton Grammar School, Mr. T Hewson, who made me stand up in class during 'English' on Tuesday afternoons, and read aloud, to the class, several pages of Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift, despite the difficulties I had, at that time in reading words. Thanks to him, I can now read fluently; but more importantly, he taught me to have confidence, to be able to share my love of astronomy with all to whom I have been invited to speak; and ultimately to become a teacher myself.

 It is my hope that you will enjoy these pages, and return here often to take what you will from this site, as the months change, the result of Earth's journey around the sun.

May you too, always follow safe paths, and have clear and unclouded skies, in all the many aspects of your life!


Finally, I want to say a huge 'Thank You!' to friends, collegues and some of my ex students who provide me with excellent images which they have, very kindly, given me permission to use.

 The BLOG (About Me) bit is on a separate page. You can find it, if you are interested, via the MENU above!

This beautiful view of Dawn over the Castle Headland, in late October, is by Scarborough astronomer Fred Tiles, Thanks Fred

PLEASE NOTE : Because of the size of this FRONT PAGE, which resulted in the slow loading of the material on some machines; I have created another additional page. It is called 'FRONT PAGE continued' and can be reached using the MENU above.

You will find there, illustrations of Saturn and its fascinating moon ENCELADUS, thought to be a possible abode of life, as is Jupiter's satellite Europa (also to be seen on this additional page)

SKYNOTES are available. Use The MENU above to find the current month's SKYNOTES.

ASTEROIDAL OCCULTATIONS for THE CURRENT MONTH accessible via the Menu above (ASTEROIDAL EVENTS). Thanks For those Andrej !

REMOTE PLANETS. The paths of URANUS, NEPTUNE, and PLUTO, have been updated for 2021. 

POEM by Richard H Mann 'FRIENDS OF MINE' added to the ASTRONOMICAL POETRY page (see MENU above)



For information about suitable times to see the ISS, other satellites, and interesting objects, and to download the application if you wish, go to the following admirable site:


The TIMES shown here are UNIVERSAL TIME   So when SUMMER TIME is in force, you must ADD ONE HOUR.  SUMMER TIME has ended so the times given in the table are LOCAL GMT TIME 


Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
20 Jan -1.0 19:15:57 10° SSW 19:16:30 13° SSW 19:16:30 13° SSW visible
21 Jan -1.9 18:28:31 10° SSW 18:30:44 20° SSE 18:30:44 20° SSE visible
22 Jan -1.6 17:41:22 10° S 17:43:23 15° SE 17:44:55 12° ESE visible
22 Jan -1.6 19:16:23 10° SW 19:17:52 22° SW 19:17:52 22° SW visible
23 Jan -2.8 18:28:42 10° SW 18:31:46 33° SSE 18:31:59 33° SSE visible

JANUARY 20 at 20h UT. FIRST QUARTER is on JANUARY 20 at 21h 02 UT. FULL MOON is on JANUARY 28 at 19h 16 UT



Next chosen LUNAR OCCULTATION visible from Scarborough UK JANUARY 21. DISAPPEARANCE of 38 ARIETIS, at the dark limb, is at 22h 01 UT

JANUARY 21 : The SUN'S celestial positions at 12h UT.
Astronomical Constellation : CAPRICORNUS.
Astrological Sign:AQUARIUS. On JANUARY 19, the SUN entered the astrological sign of AQUARIUS, the Water-bearer.

JANUARY 20 Today's SOLAR PHOTOSPHERE image in visible light, courtesy of NASA.

REMEMBER ------- NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN unless you have the proper astronomical filters for the purpose, NOT the one often provided by the telescope manufacturer. IT IS SAFER TO PROJECT THE SUN'S IMAGE ONTO A SCREEN.

Never look through view finders at the sun. instead look at the shadow of the instrument on a card. When the shadow is as small as it can be, it is pointing towards the sun, and you will see the safe image of the Sun on the card. NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN------ IT CAN BLIND YOU !

DECEMBER 20, early evening. CROFTON , near WAKEFIELD. Astronomer Maurice Bradwell imaged JUPITER (the brighter of the two) and SATURN, as twilight was fading. Thanks Maurice



The times when ALGOL (Beta Persei), the famous eclipsing variable star reaches its MINIMUM brightness may be found in the monthly SKYNOTES summary for each month. The star has a page dedicated to itself also, accessible via the MENU above.

ASTRONOMICAL EVENTS due this month may be found in the MONTHLY SKYNOTES, accessible via the MENU above.


JANUARY'S FULL MOON : JANUARY 28 in CANCER, The Crab.This was called the WOLF MOON by Anglo Saxons in days gone by.

The angular diameter of the Planets compared in JANUARY, 2021

SCARBOROUGH SOUTH BAY with Lighthouse at dawn.
Image courtesy of Faith Young @FaithYoungWriter.
Thanks Faith.

The waning gibbous Moon , Imaged by:
@FeelBetter2day from SCARBOROUGH. UK at the beginning of DECEMBER, 2020..... SUNSET at the 'SEA OF CRISES' , Thanks Linda!



JANUARY 20, 2021.

RISE: 08h 07

SET:  16h 18


08h 11m 00s (The INCREASE is by 03m 06s)



RISE: 11h 10.  SET: 23h 46 (TUE 19). 



JANUARY 20, 2O21


LW:   02h 58

HW:  09h 08

LW:   15h 06

HW:  21h 15


The images of SCARBOROUGH preceeding and following these tables are by kind peremission of people who live here, and who are justifiably proud of their seaside town on the Yorkshire Coast. 

SCARBOROUGH, NORTH BAY, looking towards Denmark in January. Image courtesy of @FeelBetter2day . Thanks Linda

JANUARY,2021 JUPITER and the GALILEAN SATELLITES. The Date is at the side. The horizontal line shows the positions of the satellites at 00h Universal Time. Interpolate to find the arrangement at other times in the day. Chart courtesy of CoelixApex Software

ANNULAR ECLIPSE OF THE SUN - JUNE 10, 2021. Annularity occurs at the UT times indicated on the map. The limits of where the eclipse can be seen is marked. NB - A partial eclipse is visible from the UK !The 'layers' in the 'Eclipse Zone' on the map show the percentage of Sun covered by the Moon. Each segment is a 10% increase, starting at the edge (10%) and finishing at the centre at Annularity (100% MOON on SUN) .
Future solar and lunar eclipses for UK, may be found using the MENU above.