This is Jupiter's Satellite II, EUROPA. (Diam: 3100 km) in relation to Jupiter at 22h UT May 28. Beneath its icy surface is thought to be a warm ocean of water, warmed by volcanic vents. A scenario in which there is the possibility for life to appear.

Graphic generated using 'Celestia' software

SUNDAY, MAY 28, 2017.



The photos, on either side of the SUN/MOON rise/set times and the TIDES, showing different aspects of SCARBOROUGH, are by Ian Atkinson, and are changed, and captioned by him, each day. Thanks Ian!


 JOVIAN SATELLITES - a graphic showing the daily configuration of the GALILEAN SATELLITES OF JUPITER  for LATE EVENING each day.




ASTEROID (DWARF PLANET) (4) VESTA updated path APRIL/MAY, 2017, added in the ASTEROIDAL EVENTS page. 


 Graphic showing the current appearance of SATURN with the northern surface of the rings well placed for observation. The graphic is to be found at the foot of this page. Also, there is a graphic showing Saturn and its fascinating moon ENCELADUS, a possible abode of life?


AUGUST, 2017 SKYNOTES are compete and ready to download, if you wish to use them (see MENU, above.). I would appreciate it, if you would share the URL of my website if you use this material --- Thank you !



Added: Andrey Plekhanov's predictions for the occultations of brighter stars by Dwarf Planets (asteroids) in JUNE, 2017, possible for the Scarborough area of North Yorkshire. Use the MENU to go to the ASTEROIDAL EVENTS page for his table of these occultations.


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



- and for ambient space music try:





Join us for a Midsummer Night’s Dream and see Jupiter and Saturn in all their glory (weather permitting).

IMPORTANT>>> Please go to the SOCIETY page, via the MENU above for essential details.

Friday 23rd June, 9.00pm to Midnight

Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough

Meeting in the car park opposite the Café.

Please use the MENU above, to access the SCARBOROUGH A.S. page for a link to the Society's web site






 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.
24 May -3.5 01:32:51 10° W 01:36:01 43° SSW 01:39:09 10° ESE visible
24 May -2.4 21:29:22 10° SSW 21:31:46 19° SSE 21:34:10 10° ESE visible
24 May -3.6 23:04:36 10° WSW 23:07:46 45° SSE 23:10:57 10° E visible
25 May -3.7 00:40:49 10° W 00:44:02 50° S 00:47:13 10° ESE visible
25 May -2.7 02:17:25 10° W 02:20:07 23° SSW 02:22:48 10° SSE visible
25 May -3.3 22:12:43 10° SW 22:15:48 37° SSE 22:18:52 10° E visible
25 May -3.8 23:48:47 10° W 23:52:01 54° S 23:55:15 10° ESE visible
26 May -3.1 01:25:14 10° W 01:28:12 31° SSW 01:31:10 10° SE visible
26 May -2.9 21:20:56 10° SW 21:23:51 29° SSE 21:26:45 10° E visible
26 May -3.7 22:56:46 10° WSW 23:00:00 53° S 23:03:14 10° E visible
27 May -3.4 00:33:07 10° W 00:36:15 40° SSW 00:39:21 10° SE visible
27 May -2.1 02:10:12 10° WSW 02:12:08 15° SW 02:14:05 10° S visible
27 May -3.6 22:04:46 10° WSW 22:07:59 48° S 22:11:10 10° E visible
27 May -3.6 23:41:02 10° W 23:44:14 48° S 23:47:17 11° ESE visible
28 May -2.4 01:17:43 10° W 01:19:49 20° SW 01:19:49 20° SW visible
28 May -3.3 21:12:49 10° SW 21:15:57 40° SSE 21:19:05 10° E visible
28 May -3.7 22:48:58 10° W 22:52:12 53° S 22:55:25 10° ESE visible
29 May -2.9 00:25:27 10° W 00:28:21 28° SSW 00:28:25 28° SSW visible
29 May -3.7 21:56:54 10° WSW 22:00:08 54° S 22:03:22 10° E visible
29 May -3.3 23:33:17 10° W 23:36:21 37° SSW 23:37:30 27° SSE visible
30 May -3.5 22:41:08 10° W 22:44:19 45° SSW 22:46:46 15° ESE visible
31 May -1.9 00:17:56 10° WSW 00:19:22 17° SW 00:19:22 17° SW visible
31 May -3.6 21:49:01 10° W 21:52:15 51° S 21:55:28 10° ESE visible
31 May -2.7 23:25:34 10° W 23:28:22 25° SSW 23:28:44 25° SSW visible
01 Jun -3.0 22:33:20 10° W 22:36:21 33° SSW 22:38:08 19° SSE visible
02 Jun -3.3 21:41:08 10° W 21:44:17 42° SSW 21:47:25 10° ESE visible
02 Jun -2.0 23:18:04 10° WSW 23:20:12 16° SW 23:20:12 16° SW visible


IRIDIUM FLARE SATELLITES --- SCARBOROUGH UT times. (ADD 1 hour for local BS Time) 

If you look in the right direction and at the right altitude, as given in the table below, you will see the moving satellite appear, flare in brightness, sometimes quite considerably, and disappear again within a few seconds. hence the name 'flare'.


Time Brightness Altitude Azimuth Satellite Distance to flare centre Brightness at flare centre Sun altitude
May 24, 23:55:30 -1.6 55° 209° (SSW) Iridium 14 22 km (W) -8.4 -15° 
May 25, 01:31:44 -2.8 54° 143° (SE) Iridium 23 17 km (W) -8.3 -12° 
May 25, 02:59:27 -4.0 33° 94° (E) Iridium 31 18 km (W) -7.1 -5° 
May 25, 21:03:55 -4.3 50° 41° (NE) Iridium 41 11 km (W) -7.9 -6° 
May 25, 23:49:25 -8.3 55° 210° (SSW) Iridium 66 2 km (W) -8.4 -15° 
May 26, 01:25:43 -4.4 54° 144° (SE) Iridium 11 9 km (E) -8.3 -12° 
May 26, 23:43:22 0.0 56° 208° (SSW) Iridium 21 38 km (E) -8.4 -14° 
May 28, 02:50:16 -4.7 37° 99° (E) Iridium 45 13 km (W) -7.3 -6° 
May 29, 02:44:11 -2.2 37° 101° (E) Iridium 32 26 km (E) -7.3 -6° 
May 29, 23:34:23 -2.0 53° 222° (SW) Iridium 68 21 km (W) -8.3 -14° 
May 30, 01:10:36 -5.0 57° 156° (SSE) Iridium 11 8 km (W) -8.4 -12° 
May 30, 23:28:17 -3.1 54° 222° (SW) Iridium 75 15 km (E) -8.3 -14° 
May 31, 01:04:27 -0.7 56° 154° (SSE) Iridium 94 29 km (E) -8.4 -13° 
May 31, 02:41:12 -1.5 42° 105° (ESE) Iridium 95 32 km (W) -7.6 -6° 





The Telescopic view will be inverted. In the view above, the ZENITH is UP, so this is the view through binoculars.



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.

 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 !





'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!' which 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.




JUNE 01, 2017.

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

JUNE 01, 2017.

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 CRESCENT. MAY 28. Appearance at: 22h UT. (add 1 hour for Local Summer Time).

Generated using 'Virtual Moon Atlas' software.

The small white '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 indicitive of the amount of Libration.

MAY 28 at 22h UT. (add 1h for BST)
The Moon's position amongst the stars.


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

NEXT SELECTED LUNAR OCCULTATION visible from Scarborough: JUNE 08. Disappearance at the dark limb of m(v) +5.47 star: 49
Librae at 02h 23 UT.

Generated using 'GUIDE' 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

SOLAR POSITION at 12h UT. MAY 29, 2017.
Constellation: TAURUS.

The VERNAL EQUINOX was on MARCH 20 at 10h 30 UT.
It is now SPRING in the Northern hemisphere, and AUTUMN in the Southern hemisphere.
The northern SUMMER SOLSTICE is on JUNE 21 at 04h 25 UT.
At this time, northern SUMMER begins.

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, 0EVE, and HMI science teams.


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.


SCARBOROUGH - HEADLAND. A wonderful display of kites being flown in the Castle grounds this weekend. The event is on 10.00 AM. until 5.00PM. Sunday and Monday. 27.5.2017.
Photograph by Ian Atkinson.


SUNDAY, MAY 28, 2017. 



SUNRISE:             04h 38  BST


SUNSET:              21h 19   BST  


MOONRISE:         07h 32   BST  


MOONSET:          23h 59  BST   






LOW:                    00h 36    BST   


HIGH:                   06h 34    BST    


LOW:                    13h 01    BST  


HIGH:                  19h 03    BST  


LOW:                    01h 21    BST  (MON)  


HIGH:                   07h 23   BST  (MON)


LOW:                    13h 49    BST  (MON)


HIGH:                   19h 56    BST  (MON) 



(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.



FILEY BRIGG in the borough of SCARBOROUGH. From the air this fantastic view of the Brigg is really wonderful.
Many thanks to Hilary and James for this view. 20.5.2017.
Photograph by Ian Atkinson.



ALGOL (Beta Persei), the famous eclipsing variable star, which has a page dedicated to it, accessible via the MENU above, reaches its MINIMUM BRIGHTNESS on:  JUNE 09 at 04h 17 UT., JUNE 12 at 01h 06 UT., and JUNE 14 at 21h 55 UT.


JUPITER can be seen in the evening sky throughout MAY and JUNE, and cannot be mistaken because of its brightness. Nearby is SPICA, the brightest star in the constellation VIRGO, much fainter than Jupiter.

the Galilean satellites, IO, EUROPA, GANYMEDE, and CALLISTO change position on a nightly basis and can be seen easily in a small telescope, and in firmly fixed, well focussed binoculars.

the configuration of the planet and its moons at 22h UT each EVENING can be seen near the top of this page.


From now on, 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 SPRING EQUINOX took place on MARCH 20, at 10h 30 UT. It is now Astronomical SPRING in the Northern Hemisphere and AUTUMN south of the Earth's Equator. The SUMMER SOLSTICE will take place on JUNE 21 at 04h 25 UT. This Illustration shows the morning sky at that time. Notice that Venus and the thin waning crescent Moon lie to the east of the Sun and are in conjunction.

Constructed using Stellarium Software

MAY 31, 12h UT. Venus rises just before the Sun, very low in the dawn twilight, just above the ENE horizon. Its phase, like that of a LAST QUARTER moon, can be seen in a small telescope. (the image will be inverted in an astronomical telescope, remember!)

The first MIDSUMMER FULL MOON is on JUNE 09. at 04h 07 UT. It is one of the lowest Full Moons of the year!

From now on, 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.

Current appearance of Saturn, at around 00h UT
SATURN at magnitude +0.6 culminates in the South at an altitude of 13 degrees in the early morning, before dawn.
The planet comes into Opposition (opposite the Sun in the sky), on JUNE 15 this year
(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.

Image generated using CELESTIA software.