This is Jupiter's satellite (II) EUROPA, in relation to Jupiter, at 03h 55 UT, MARCH 24.

Graphic generated using 'Celestia' software

FRIDAY  MARCH 23, 2018.


MARCH. Daffodil is in flower now.



 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 MARCH, and APRIL 2018 SKYNOTES. JUNE's NOTES are being prepared. 

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).

Click on the date to get a star chart and other pass details.


Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
09 Mar -2.0 03:53:39 27° ESE 03:53:39 27° ESE 03:55:34 10° E visible
09 Mar -3.4 05:26:18 16° WSW 05:28:44 54° S 05:31:56 10° ESE visible
10 Mar -3.5 04:35:59 46° SSW 04:36:30 53° S 04:39:43 10° E visible
11 Mar -2.0 03:45:39 28° ESE 03:45:39 28° ESE 03:47:27 10° E visible
11 Mar -3.4 05:18:18 17° W 05:20:32 48° S 05:23:42 10° ESE visible
12 Mar -3.6 04:27:58 50° SSW 04:28:17 53° S 04:31:31 10° ESE visible
13 Mar -1.9 03:37:39 25° ESE 03:37:39 25° ESE 03:39:15 10° E visible
13 Mar -3.1 05:10:18 19° WSW 05:12:15 38° SSW 05:15:19 10° SE visible
14 Mar -3.4 04:20:01 46° SSW 04:20:01 46° SSW 04:23:11 10° ESE visible
15 Mar -1.5 03:29:47 20° ESE 03:29:47 20° ESE 03:30:57 10° ESE visible
15 Mar -2.6 05:02:26 19° WSW 05:03:51 26° SSW 05:06:40 10° SE visible
16 Mar -2.7 04:12:16 31° S 04:12:16 31° S 04:14:39 10° SE visible
17 Mar -1.0 03:22:12 12° ESE 03:22:12 12° ESE 03:22:31 10° ESE visible
17 Mar -2.1 04:54:51 17° SW 04:55:19 17° SSW 04:57:34 10° S visible
18 Mar -1.6 04:04:55 16° SSE 04:04:55 16° SSE 04:05:51 10° SSE visible


 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
Mar 10, 04:53:22 -6.7 26° 13° (NNE) Iridium 12 4 km (E) -6.9 -15° 
Mar 11, 04:47:26 0.1 25° 12° (NNE) Iridium 86 46 km (W) -6.8 -15° 
Mar 11, 20:47:09 0.0 10° 3° (N) Iridium 14 107 km (E) -5.9 -25° 
Mar 12, 04:41:34 -2.1 23° 13° (NNE) Iridium 52 24 km (W) -6.7 -16° 
Mar 12, 05:41:01 -0.3 12° 61° (ENE) Iridium 65 124 km (E) -5.1 -7° 
Mar 12, 05:50:22 -4.7 14° 64° (ENE) Iridium 66 36 km (W) -5.3 -6° 
Mar 12, 20:40:48 -5.0 12° 2° (N) Iridium 66 15 km (W) -6.0 -23° 
Mar 13, 04:26:56 -0.5 18° 14° (NNE) Iridium 84 45 km (E) -6.3 -17° 
Mar 13, 05:34:54 -2.2 11° 61° (ENE) Iridium 68 86 km (W) -5.1 -8° 
Mar 13, 20:34:16 -2.2 14° 2° (N) Iridium 21 26 km (W) -6.2 -22° 
Mar 14, 04:21:01 -6.1 17° 14° (NNE) Iridium 12 8 km (E) -6.2 -18° 
Mar 14, 20:27:47 -3.3 17° 2° (N) Iridium 70 16 km (W) -6.4 -21° 
Mar 15, 04:06:38 0.4 12° 14° (NNE) Iridium 83 85 km (E) -5.8 -19° 
Mar 15, 20:21:23 0.5 19° 2° (N) Iridium 64 49 km (W) -6.5 -20° 
Mar 16, 04:00:50 -2.1 11° 14° (NNE) Iridium 56 46 km (E) -5.7 -20° 




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 !


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.




MARCH 30, 2018.

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

MARCH 30, 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 CRESCENT Appearance at: 22h UT. MARCH 23 in UK.
PARTIAL SOLAR ECLIPSE visible from Parts of South America and parts of Antarctica.


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 indicitive of the amount of Libration.

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

MARCH 23 at 22h UT.
The Moon's position among the stars.


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. MARCH 23 - OCCULTATION of m(v)+4.32 star 119 Tauri. Disappearance is due at 22h 37 UT. in 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

SOLAR POSITION at 12h UT. MARCH 24 2018.
Constellation: PISCES.


The northern SPRING EQUINOX is on MARCH 20 at 16h 16 UT.
At that time, northern SPRING begins. In the southern hemisphere it is the start of Autumn.

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 Sky in the UK, looking SOUTH WEST, at the moment of the SPRING EQUINOX - MARCH 20, 2018 --- 16h 16 UT


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.



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 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.

SCARBOROUGH on MARCH 22, SOUTH BAY, Looking South East, down the coast. Image by kind permission of Sandra Barber. Thanks Sandra!




SUNRISE:             05h 56   GMT


SUNSET:              18h 20   GMT 


MOONRISE:         09h 10  GMT             


MOONSET:          00h 23  GMT       





LOW:                    01h 40    GMT 


HIGH:                   07h 59    GMT   


LOW:                    13h 59    GMT  


HIGH:                   20h 21    GMT  


LOW:                    02h 30    GMT  (SAT)  


HIGH:                   08h 52    GMT  (SAT) 


 LOW:                    14h 58    GMT  (SAT)  


HIGH:                   21h 22     GMT  (SAT) 



(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 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. May grateful thanks to them all.



SCARBOROUGH -SOUTH BAY. A beautiful view looking towards the Castle. Image by kind permission of Faith Young. Thanks Faith!

MARCH 2018. Popular Celestial objects in the early evening sky. (click to enlarge)



All of the features labelled on the whole sky chart ABOVE.


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


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: MARCH 02 at 19h 02 UT. MARCH 14 at 06h 19 UT. MARCH 17 at 03h 08 UT. MARCH 19 at 23h 57 UT. MARCH 22 at 20h 47 UT. and MARCH 25 at 17h 36 UT.


JUPITER'S GALILEAN SATELLITES. Their daily changing configuration in relation to Jupiter. The planet can be seen low in the southern sky around 06h.UT during January

(see below)



MARS on MARCH30 at 04h UT (ZENITH is up)
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 04h UT on MARCH 24, looking SOUTH, at the beginning of morning twilight. (In an astronomical telescope, the view will be inverted)
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. MARCH 30 at 04h 45 UT.

Images generated using CELESTIA software.