Added: DECEMBER 13: LUNAR OCCULTATION OF ALDEBARAN (Visual magnitude +0.87).

Diagrams showing Disappearance and Reappearance positions, plus the map showing the area of visibility for this event. Please  see the 'ALDEBARAN SERIES' page, accessible via the 'MENU' above.


Added: The DECEMBER, 2016 Skynotes.  Use the 'MENU' above to find them. JANUARY, 2017 Skynotes are now available also.


Added: Two new Observing Sites, on OLIVER'S MOUNT to be used for PUBLIC OBSERVING in addition to the SHUTTLEWORTH CLOCK TOWER on the Esplanade ; see the Public Observing page accessible via the MENU above.


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


  Added: an Alt./Azimuth Chart showing the path of DWARF PLANET (1) CERES for the rest of the year. You will find this on the 'ASTEROIDAL EVENTS' page, via the 'MENU' , above. If you require a R.A. and Declination chart, I will be happy to send a JPEG file to you with this configuration. PLEASE REQUEST ONE.  



Please use the MENU above, to access the SCARBOROUGH A.S. page, where the events are described, and contact details are available (Thank you Bryan for the information.)




 FRIDAY, 21 October, 7.45pm, Ayton Village Hall – Images of the Universe Volume 3 – a talk by Paul Money.


Following the success of his Images of the Universe Volumes 1 and 2 the society is delighted to bring back regular speaker Paul Money, from the BBC Sky at Night magazine, for the next installment – Volume 3. Please join us as Paul explores another stunning 10 images of the Universe in his own inimitable way.


£3 on the door for non-members, REFRESHMENTS included.



FRIDAY, 4 NOVEMBER, 8.00pm to 9.30pm - SARAS Public star gazing at Low Dalby Astronomy Centre (adjacent to the Visitors' Centre at the end of the main car park). Join us for a tour of the night sky.


Amongst the objects we hope to observe are:

The Constellations of the Autumn Night Sky,

Coloured stars ranging from red through to blue,

NGC 457 arranged around Phi Cassiopeiae the famous 'OWL', or 'EXTRA TERRESTRIAL (E.T.)' Galactic Star Cluster,

Messier 103, The ('mini') 'CHRISTMAS TREE' Star Cluster in Cassiopeia,

Messier 57, the 'RING' Planetary Nebula in Lyra.

Messier 27, the 'Dumbbell' Planetary Nebula in Vulpecula.

Messier 15, a globular star cluster in PEGASUS

Messier 31, The Great Galaxy in Andromeda, the furthest object visible to the unaided eye.

Planet NEPTUNE in the constellation of Aquarius, and URANUS in Pisces.


PLEASE NOTE: If the weather is inclement then an illustrated talk will be presented in the Low Dalby Community Centre, adjacent to the 'Courtyard'.


Thanks to all the people who turned up on Friday Night, OCTOBER 7th., adults, children and Brownies!  Thank you so much, also, for your generous donations to further the work of the Society. It was a pleasure to meet you all and we look forward to seeing you again on the first Friday in NOVEMBER, at the Visitor Centre in Dalby Forest.






 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 :


SCARBOROUGH  Visibility of the International Space station.

Thanks to



Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
03 Nov -0.9 06:24:39 10° SSW 06:27:16 22° SSE 06:29:54 10° E visible
04 Nov -0.5 05:32:49 10° S 05:34:55 16° SSE 05:37:01 10° ESE visible
05 Nov -0.3 04:41:45 10° SSE 04:42:36 11° SE 04:43:26 10° SE visible
05 Nov -1.7 06:15:21 10° SW 06:18:20 33° SSE 06:21:19 10° E visible
06 Nov -1.3 05:23:35 13° SSW 05:25:53 25° SSE 05:28:38 10° E visible

It is estimated that about 50,000 tons of meteorites reach Earth’s surface each year. That might seem high, but the vast majority of this figure is made up of micrometeorites, dust-sized specks from 50 µm to 2 mm in diameter. It is estimated that about one micrometeorite lands every square metre each year. This means that there are many micrometeorites available to collect, if you know how to do it, and have a microscope to see their shapes which are chiefly spherical and their ‘pitted’ reflective metallic surfaces.
You need the following: a strong magnet, a slide or glass dish, a clear polythene bag, some muddy water and a small microscope.
Simply place the magnet into a clear polythene bag: 'swish' it around in some muddy water. then after shaking away drips from the polythene bag with the magnet still in it, place the bag and magnet into a dish of clear water: remove the magnet and allow the polythene bag to be moved in the water (minus the magnet), where upon any micrometeorites will sink into the fresh water; then either allow the water to evaporate, or put a drop onto a slide and then using the microscope you should be able to detect these mostly spherical objects, made mostly of Nickel-Iron , both magnetic materials, hence the use of a magnet in their recovery.



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 (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 honourary 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.




OCTOBER 30, 2016.

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

LOOKING EAST at 00h 00 UT.
OCTOBER 30, 2016.

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.


OCTOBER 28, 05h UT (06h BST Local 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.

OCTOBER 28 at 05h UT (06h Local Time)
The Moon's position amongst the stars.


Often, by comparing this image with the 'moon phase for today'(above), the effect of the Moon's Libration can be seen.



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

Disappearance at Dark limb of: (106) Nu Piscium in PISCES. m(v) +4.45 at 19h 11 UT.

Generated using 'GUIDE' software'

Constellation: VIRGO.

AUTUMNAL EQUINOX was on SEPTEMBER 22 at 14h 21 UT (15h 21 Local time)
Now it is AUTUMN in the Northern Hemisphere and SPRING in the Southern Hemisphere!

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.)
OCTOBER 28, 07h 45 UT.
Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AI3A, EVE, 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 OUTSKIRTS. A Glorious Sunset in Autumn. 27.10.2016.
Photograph by Ian Atkinson.

FRIDAY, OCT0BER 28, 2016. 



(BST is Local Time, UT +1h).




SUNRISE:             07h 56    BST


SUNSET:              17h 34    BST


MOONRISE:         05h 09    BST


MOONSET:          17h 08    BST 







HIGH:                   03h 24    BST  


LOW:                    09h 57    BST 


HIGH:                   15h 52    BST


LOW:                    22h 10    BST 


HIGH:                   04h 03    BST (SAT)


LOW:                    10h 31    BST (SAT)


HIGH:                   16h 25    BST (SAT)


LOW:                    22h 45    BST (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.



WHITBY in the Borough of SCARBOROUGH. A life-sized Statue of a Gladiator created by Rupert Harris from a mould taken from a Bronze which had been made for King Charles the 1st. This was placed here in 2009 and has for a backdrop the majestic ruins of the 13th Century Abbey.
Photograph by Ian Atkinson.


NEPTUNE, amongst the stars of Aquarius. see the REMOTE PLANETS page, and the OCTOBER SKY NOTES page, both accessible via the MENU, above. The planet was at OPPOSITION on SEPTEMBER 02 this year, and is well placed for observation in OCTOBER



NEXT MINIMUM suitable for observation, followed by a rise to MAXIMUM brightness, is on NOVEMBER 09 at 00h 44 UT. followed by another Minimum on NOVEMBER 11 at 21h 32 UT.

More Information about ALGOL may be found on this star's dedicated page listed in the MENU.


URANUS IN OPPOSITION: OCTOBER 15: Visual Magnitude +5.71, Angular Diameter 3.7 seconds of arc. Distance 2835 million km (18.95 AU*). See the OCTOBER SKYNOTES page. Uranus' position amongst the stars of Pisces, may be found on the REMOTE PLANETS page.

*AU = Astronomical Units, 1 AU is the mean distance of the Earth from the Sun.


HUNTER'S MOON: OCTOBER 16, 04h 23 UT. See OCTOBER SKYNOTES for information about the origin of this Full Moon.


DWARF PLANET (ASTEROID) (1) CERES at OPPOSITION, and nearest to Earth: OCTOBER 21, 04h 16 UT.

 You will find a location chart on the 'ASTEROIDAL EVENTS' page, via the 'MENU' , above. If you require a R.A. and Declination chart, I will be happy to send a JPEG file to you with this configuration. PLEASE REQUEST ONE.

The Dwarf planet culminates in the SOUTH around MIDNIGHT at the time of OPPOSITION, in the constellation CETUS. 


URANUS and the positions of its major satellites when the planet is in Opposition on OCTOBER 15.

The WANING CRESCENT MOON . Appearance on OCTOBER 28 at 10h UT (11h Local).

'Stellarium' generated.

RADIANT of the TAURID METEOR SHOWER which peaks on NOVEMBER 4/5, Overnight. The Radiant lies to the south of the Seven Sisters Open Star Cluster, The Pleiades.
Associated with Encke's comet, this shower produces 10 bright, slow moving shooting stars per hour around midnight and during the hours following.