This is Jupiter's satellite (II) EUROPA, in relation to Jupiter, at 23h 50 UT, MAY 23.

Graphic generated using 'Celestia' software

TUESDAY,  MAY 22, 2018.


LILAC flowers in MAY.
'We'll gather Lilacs in the Spring again,
And walk together down an English lane!'



 The graphic, at the foot of this page shows Saturn and its fascinating moon ENCELADUS, thought to be a possible abode of life, as is Jupiter's satellite Europa!


CONFIGURATION OF THE GALILEAN SATELLITES OF JUPITER may be seen, for early morning, towards the bottom of this page also


SKYNOTES are available. Use The MENU above for APRIL, MAY and JUNE  2018 SKYNOTES. 

If you wish to use any of the material in John's Skynotes (see MENU, above.) please feel free to do so; I would, however appreciate you please sharing the URL of my website, so that others may use it too --- Thank you !


ADDED: THE PATH OF DWARF PLANET CERES (1) February to May 2018 The location chart may be found on the ASTEROID Page,  accessible via the MENU above.




Good MUSIC while browsing, and perhaps catching me talking about the sky, every now and again:


- and for ambient space music try:











 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 and authorative site :


ISS - Visible passes from SCARBOROUGH: The international Space Station has the appearance of a bright star moving across the sky from west to east. it is often around the same brightness of Jupiter, (the fourth brightest celestial object in the sky after the Sun, Moon, and Venus).



Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
18 May -3.8 01:21:14 18° WSW 01:23:26 53° S 01:26:39 10° E visible
18 May -3.2 02:56:37 10° W 02:59:40 37° SSW 03:02:43 10° SE visible
18 May -1.4 22:57:45 11° E 22:57:45 11° E 22:57:57 10° E visible
19 May -3.7 00:30:21 34° SW 00:31:21 49° S 00:34:33 10° E visible
19 May -3.6 02:04:28 10° W 02:07:37 45° SSW 02:10:46 10° ESE visible
19 May -3.5 23:38:58 41° S 23:39:17 42° SSE 23:42:24 10° E visible
20 May -3.7 01:12:20 10° W 01:15:31 52° S 01:18:43 10° ESE visible
20 May -2.8 02:48:51 10° W 02:51:39 26° SSW 02:54:26 10° SSE visible
20 May -1.8 21:10:23 10° SSE 21:11:26 11° SE 21:12:29 10° ESE visible
20 May -3.2 22:44:13 10° SW 22:47:13 34° SSE 22:50:13 10° E visible
21 May -3.8 00:20:12 10° WSW 00:23:25 54° S 00:26:38 10° ESE visible
21 May -3.2 01:56:36 10° W 01:59:37 34° SSW 02:02:37 10° SE visible
21 May -2.8 21:52:24 10° SSW 21:55:11 26° SSE 21:57:57 10° E visible
21 May -3.8 23:28:05 10° WSW 23:31:17 51° S 23:34:30 10° E visible
22 May -3.5 01:04:24 10° W 01:07:32 42° SSW 01:10:40 10° ESE visible
22 May -2.2 02:41:18 10° WSW 02:43:29 17° SSW 02:45:39 10° S visible
22 May -2.4 21:00:48 10° SSW 21:03:11 19° SSE 21:05:34 10° ESE visible
22 May -3.6 22:36:01 10° WSW 22:39:10 45° SSE 22:42:19 10° E visible
23 May -3.7 00:12:14 10° W 00:15:25 50° S 00:18:36 10° ESE visible
23 May -2.7 01:48:49 10° W 01:51:29 23° SSW 01:54:09 10° SSE visible
23 May -3.3 21:44:00 10° SW 21:47:03 37° SSE 21:50:07 10° E visible
23 May -3.8 23:20:04 10° W 23:23:16 54° S 23:26:29 10° ESE visible
24 May -3.1 00:56:30 10° W 00:59:27 31° SSW 01:00:18 26° S visible
24 May -3.7 22:27:54 10° WSW 22:31:06 53° S 22:34:18 10° E visible
25 May -3.4 00:04:14 10° W 00:07:20 39° SSW 00:08:15 31° SSE visible
25 May -3.6 21:35:46 10° WSW 21:38:56 48° S 21:42:07 10° E visible
25 May -3.6 23:12:01 10° W 23:15:11 47° S 23:17:09 20° ESE visible
26 May -1.9 00:48:41 10° W 00:49:46 16° WSW 00:49:46 16° WSW visible
26 May -3.7 22:19:48 10° W 22:23:00 53° S 22:26:13 10° ESE visible
26 May -2.8 23:56:16 10° W 23:58:55 28° SSW 23:58:55 28° SSW visible
27 May -3.7 21:27:36 10° WSW 21:30:49 54° S 21:34:01 10° E visible
27 May -3.2 23:03:58 10° W 23:07:01 36° SSW 23:08:09 27° SSE visible


Clicking on the time of the flare will give more details about the flare, including a sky chart. IRIDIUM FLARE SATELLITES --- SCARBOROUGH UT times.  When and where to look and what you will see:



Time Brightness Altitude Azimuth Satellite Distance to flare centre Brightness at flare centre Sun altitude
May 19, 02:04:26 -7.8 46° 298° (WNW) Iridium 62 3 km (W) -7.9 -11° 
May 19, 23:01:11 0.4 43° 241° (WSW) Iridium 83 51 km (W) -7.9 -15° 
May 20, 02:04:03 0.9 42° 299° (WNW) Iridium 14 60 km (W) -7.8 -11° 
May 20, 21:51:21 -6.2 20° 287° (WNW) Iridium 61 4 km (E) -6.2 -11° 
May 20, 21:59:32 -0.8 18° 289° (WNW) Iridium 7 82 km (W) -6.1 -11° 
May 20, 22:00:15 0.7 17° 290° (WNW) Iridium 35 131 km (W) -6.0 -11° 
May 20, 22:55:05 -7.9 45° 240° (WSW) Iridium 56 3 km (E) -8.0 -14° 
May 21, 21:17:41 -3.1 12° 348° (NNW) Iridium 61 31 km (E) -5.3 -8° 
May 21, 22:49:06 -5.4 45° 243° (WSW) Iridium 84 9 km (E) -7.9 -14° 
May 22, 01:51:01 -7.4 42° 302° (WNW) Iridium 62 4 km (W) -7.8 -12° 
May 23, 01:45:40 -0.7 42° 304° (NW) Iridium 70 38 km (E) -7.7 -12° 
May 23, 21:47:31 -0.3 16° 295° (WNW) Iridium 35 120 km (E) -5.8 -10° 
May 23, 22:00:10 -5.4 14° 298° (WNW) Iridium 7 23 km (W) -5.6 -11° 
May 23, 22:46:06 0.2 41° 249° (WSW) Iridium 50 51 km (W) -7.8 -13° 
May 23, 23:58:35 -4.4 56° 204° (SSW) Iridium 39 9 km (W) -8.5 -15° 
May 24, 00:12:58 0.7 57° 186° (S) Iridium 41 44 km (E) -8.4 -15° 
May 24, 22:40:05 -3.5 42° 250° (WSW) Iridium 53 16 km (W) -7.8 -13° 
May 25, 01:37:34 -7.5 38° 307° (NW) Iridium 62 1 km (W) -7.6 -12° 



WELCOME to  JONVRAN.CO.UK, 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 Mainland Britain); as well as what I hope are other interesting bits and pieces, of use to everyone. You can contact me using the form in the CONTACT area, should you wish to do so.


Thank you so much for visiting this site.

Historically these 'Skynotes' are a direct cyber-descendent, of the paper skynotes I prepared by hand for members, at each meeting of the Scarborough Astronomical Society from the moment the Society began in 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 thank the many programmers who have produced these wonderful software gems. In the CREDITS section you will find a list of these amazing sources that allow me to continue to produce my 'Skynotes', for the benefit of all.

It does not seem that they have been produced continuously for 40 years, but as the latin inscription tells us: TEMPVS FVGIT ! (Time Flies!)

There are many 'pages' in this new version of 'SKYNOTES'. They are listed in the MENU at the top of the page.  May 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.

I would also like to thank the various presenters, past and present, of BBC Radio York, for letting me have regular night sky slots since the Radio Station began, many moons ago. A 'thank you' also to the other local radio stations, who put up with me, paticularly when I forget what I was talking about, having gone off at a 'tangent' (= digression). These include: Yorkshire Coast Radio and Radio Scarborough, a good local Internet station, BBC Radio Leeds, Radio 5 Live, and Radio 4. A special thanks to Trish,the producer and Paul Hudson for giving me a seasonal 'slot' on Paul's Weather Show which is broadcast over a number of neighbouring local BBC radio stations. My thanks to you all!

I reserve a special thanks for the late Senior English Master, at Normanton Grammar School, Mr T Hewson, who made me stand up in class during English on Tuesday afternoons, and read aloud several pages of Gulliver's Travels, despite the difficulties I had in reading words.Thanks to him, I can now read properly and he taught me confidence to share my love of Astronomy with all to whom I am invited to speak  .   

 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 !


John Harper. F.R.A.S.



'MOON MAGIC' --- A poem by Pamela Tennant (I learned this, as a junior school child, at the Church of England Primary School in Normanton, West Yorkshire, England.


One day, when father and I had been

To sell our sheep at Berwick Green;

We reached the farm house, late at night,

A great moon rising, round and bright.

Her strange beams shed on all around,

 Bewitched the trees, and streams, and ground;

Changing the Willows, beyond the stacks,

To little old men with crouching backs!

Today, the Sun was shining plain,

They all were pollard willows again;

But at night, do you believe they're trees?

They're little old men with twisted knees !


My interest in Astronomy began as a child, when I saw the feature called 'The Man in the Moon', for the first time (so I am told!). Several years later my father bought me a book called 'The Starry Heavens' by Ellison Hawks F.R.A.S., followed a Christmas later by another book, 'Introducing Astronomy' by J.B Sidgewick F.R.A.S.. With this book and a torch, I went out at night and looked at the starry skies to identify the constellations, and learned, with delight, the stories of these 'Star Patterns'. Then on Tuesday nights, around 7.30pm , after rushing through my Normanton Grammar School homework, I listened with great excitement to the serial dramatisation of Charles Chilton's novel ' 'Journey Into Space --Operation Luna!', Around the same time, on BBC's Children's Hour, there was the dramatisation of 'The Lost Planet' series of books, written by Angus McVicar, which told of an expedition to Hesikos, the peaceful planet,where the flowers known as 'Charity', boomed in profusion. these two launched me, well and truly, to the stars! My journey had begun!

After being a member of the Batley and Spenborough Astronomical Society for a number of years, during the time I had my first teaching post at The Cathedral City High School in Wakefield (West Yorkshire), I started the school's astronomical society.  Ten years later in 1975, I came to Scarborough, as Head of Religious Studies at Scalby School and founded the town's astronomical society, because I discovered that there wasn't one; although later, I found that in the past, the Scarborough Philosophical Society had an astronomy 'branch' for a while.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a member the British Astronomical Association and the Society for Popular Astronomy. These are the three main national astronomical societies. As a member of the  Society for Popular Astronomy, I became the Director of the Occultation Observing Section, and introduced the observing and timing of asteroidal occultations. When I gave up that post, because of optical problems, I was honoured by the S.P.A. who made me a honorary life member.

Now, as one of Pamela Tennant's 'little old men with twisted knees' I do my best to observe from my observatory in the 'back yard'. I try to give opportunities for people to look at the night sky when special events take place up there, beyond our atmosphere; and, of course, to produce these 'Skynotes' in the hope that they are of some use to those who like me, a long time ago,.... go out on clear nights to discover, as I did, the wonders of our night skies. In these ways I am able to say 'thank you' to my life long hobby of, in my opinion, the noblest of all the sciences, Astronomy.




LOOKING SOUTH at 02h UT. (03h BST)
JUNE 01, 2018.

Generated using: 'Stellarium' software by Fabien Chereau
The constellation art is the excellent work of Johan Meuris
Click to enlarge if necessary.

LOOKING WEST at 21h UT. (22h BST)
JUNE 01, 2018.

Tap to enlarge if needs be.


Eleanor Farjeon

What are the signs of Zodiac,
Marked in stars in Heaven's track?

In March a horn-ed Ram doth run
Between the visits of the sun.

April rides upon a Bull
Vigorous and beautiful.

The Twins we call the Gemini
May-month cradles in the sky.

In June the Crab goes crawling o'er
The spaces of the heavenly shore.

Where the Crab no longer creeps,
In July the Lion leaps.

Through August nights, like daisy-laden
Meadows, walks a Vestal Maiden.

September though it blows big gales,
Holds aloft a pair of Scales.

On October's map is shown
A star-bespangled Scorpion.

In November, kneeling low,
See, the Archer bends his bow.

December's frolic is a Goat
Bleating in his starry throat.

The Water-Carrier bears on high,
His jar in January's sky.

February brings a pair
Of Fish to swim in dark blue air.

These are the Signs of Zodiac,
Marking time in Heaven's track.


Universe Eleanor Farjeon

The Universe is all the skies
Reaching far beyond your eyes.

The Universe is all the seas
Spreading in unseen degrees.

The Universe is all the earth
Besides the spot that gave you birth.

If you can with your small eye
Know one star in all the sky;

If, of all the seas there be,
From one beach you know the sea;

If, of all the land on earth,
You can know one meadow's worth;

You might do a great deal worse
To understand the Universe.


MOON PHASE: WAXING GIBBOUS. Appearance at: 22h UT. MAY 22 in UK. (23h BST). First Quarter due at 03h 49 on 22nd.


The small 'arrow', if present on the image, indicates the point on the Moon's limb, where the greatest LIBRATION (tilt towards the Earth) on the Moon's limb (edge of disc), is taking place. The size of the arrow is indicative of the amount of Libration.

Generated using 'Stellarium' and 'Virtual Moon Atlas' software.

MAY 22 at 22h UT. ( = 23h BST).

The Moon's position upon the Celestial Sphere.


Note the effect of LIBRATION (limb tilt towards Earth) by comparing the two images!

Moon Map generated by Virtual Moon Atlas, Moon Maps, and GUIDE 9 Software.

Selected lunar occultations visible from Scarborough UK. MAY 29 OCCULTATION of m(v)+5.47 star 49 Librae.
Disappearance is due at 01h 33h UT. (02h 33 BST) from SCARBOROUGH, UK

(GUIDE 9 Software)



Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,

Now the Sun is laid to sleep,

Seated in thy silver chair,

State in wonted manner keep;

Earth let not thine envious shade

Dare itself to interpose:

Cynthia's shining orb was made

Heaven to cheer when day did close.


Lay thy bow of pearl apart,

And thy crystal shining quiver;

Give unto the flying hart

Space to breathe, how short soever;

Hesperus entreats thy light

Goddess excellently bright;

Bless us then with wish-ed sight

Thou who makes a day of night.


Ben Jonson

THE FIRST of The MIDSUMMER FULL MOONS on MAY 29. at 14h 21m UT This is one the lowest FULL MOONS of the year.


The lights from the parlour and kitchen shone out
Through the blinds and the windows and bars;
And high overhead and all moving about,
There were thousands of millions of stars.
There ne’er were such thousands of leaves on a tree,
Nor of people in church or the Park,
As the crowds of the stars that looked down upon me,
And that glittered and winked in the dark.


The Dog, and the Plough, and the Hunter, and all,
And the star of the sailor, and Mars,
These shone in the sky, and the pail by the wall
Would be half full of water and stars.
They saw me at last, and they chased me with cries,
And they soon had me packed into bed;
But the glory kept shining and bright in my eyes,
And the stars going round in my head.




Sun in the constellation of TAURUS


The northern SUMMER SOLSTICE is on JUNE 21 at 10h 08 UT.
At this time, northern astronomical SUMMER begins. In the southern hemisphere it is the start of WINTER.

REMEMBER IT IS VERY UNWISE TO LOOK 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 !

The SUN'S PHOTOSPHERE in visible light. (Equatorial Period of Rotation = 25.38 days.)
Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.

The SUN has been free of major Sunspot groups for a considerable length of time now, for several years in fact! In the past when there have been prolonged minima like this, the result on Earth has been of short periods of global cooling resulting in mini- ice ages. There was one in the Times of Charles Dickens when the Thames froze over in London and people held ice fairs on the river! Several astronomers feel that there is a distinct possibility of this happening again soon!

The next SOLAR ECLIPSE visible from the U.K. is on :
2018 August 11, 08h 45 UT
Only the far North of Scotland, together with the Shetland and Orkney Islands, will see anything of this eclipse. It is a very minor affair, and only a tiny notch will be taken out of the Sun’s upper left limb, between 08h 30 and 09h00. At Kirkwall, a mere 1.5% of the Sun is covered, increasing to 6% at Lerwick, in the Shetland Isles.

NORTH BAY, MAY 22. Image by kind permission of Faith Young. Thanks Faith.




SUNRISE:             04h 46   BST  (= UT + 1h)


SUNSET:              21h 10   BST  (= UT + 1h)


MOONRISE:         12h 27   BST  (= UT + 1h)


MOONSET:          02h 28   BST  (= UT + 1h)    





HIGH:                   22h 10    BST   (SUN)


LOW:                    04h 20    BST   (= UT + 1h


HIGH:                   10h 27    BST   (= UT + 1h) 


LOW:                    17h 10    BST   (= UT + 1h)


HIGH:                   23h 23    BST   (= UT + 1h) 


LOW:                    05h 38    BST   (WED) 


HIGH:                   11h 39   BST   (WED)


LOW:                    18h 30    BST   (WED)



(Please note : the times given here are simply a guide to give an impression of the approximate time of HIGH and LOW water, in Scarborough's two bays and must not be relied upon to be completely accurate). This section is basically for people who like to walk on the beach and to inform whether the tide is in or out, visually.

The images of Scarborough on this page are produced by Scarborough residents, who have given me their permission to use, so that you may see how beautiful our town is, through all the changing seasons of the year. My grateful thanks to them all.



SCARBOROUGH: SOUTH BAY, with a sea Fret rolling in from the North Sea. Photo taken by Liam. Thanks Liam.





THE PATH OF DWARF PLANET CERES (1) February to May 2018, may be found on the ASTEROID Page,  accessible via the MENU above.


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.


JUPITER'S GALILEAN SATELLITES. Their daily changing configuration in relation to Jupiter. The planet can be seen low in the southern sky around 02h.UT during APRIL

(see below)



VENUS on JUNE 01 at 20h UT (21h BST) (ZENITH is up). Distance from Earth = 1.266 AU. (1 AU = mean Sun -Earth Distance).
The image will be inverted in an astronomical telescope!)

Generated using 'Stellarium' software

JUPITER and the GALILEAN SATELLITES: The configuration above is as you would see in binoculars, at 23h UT (add 1 hour for BST), on MAY 22, looking SOUTH. (In an astronomical telescope, the view will be inverted). A telescope is necessary to see the atmospheric belts and zones in the planet's atmosphere.
The satellites are: I = IO, II = EUROPA, III = GANYMEDE, and IV = CALLISTO.

(Graphics: Stellarium.)

ENCELADUS, (diam: 504 km) Satellite of SATURN, and the Jovian moon, EUROPA, (diam: 3100 km) Satellite of JUPITER, both have warm water oceans under their icy surfaces, and the basic ingredients for Life. This picture shows ENCELADUS against the 'backcloth' of Saturn.JUNE 01 at 02h 20 UT.

Images generated using CELESTIA software.


JUPITER WAS IN OPPOSITION on MAY 09, 2018. Try to spot the Zones and Belts of the CLOUD DECK through a small astronomical telescope..
JOVIAN ROTATION PERIOD = 9.8 hours (0.41 of Earth Day)


NOCTLUCENT CLOUDS ( NIGHT SHINING CLOUDS): photo by Matt Robinson. Thanks Matt.
During May. June, and July, look out for Noctilucent Clouds, which are thought to be produced as a result of meteors passing through the upper atmosphere. These thin high clouds of ice crystals still catch the light of the sun, which even at midnight is not far below the northern horizon. Their appearance is that of silvery blue veils low in the northern sky, and may be seen an hour before and after midnight, often with interesting textures and patterns.

The Flag of NORTH YORKSHIRE UK --- The colours reflect the agricultural nature of the county, the sea and rivers and the coastline, together with the White Rose emblem of Yorkshire