This is Jupiter's Satellite (II), EUROPA, in relation to Jupiter, at 07h UT, JANUARY 20

Graphic generated using 'Celestia' software







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




 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


JANUARY, 2018, FEBRUARY, 2018  SKYNOTES are all available. Use The MENU above. MARCH, and APRIL 2018 SKYNOTES have been added and are available also.

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 !



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.
27 Jan -1.6 18:36:17 10° S 18:37:37 15° SSE 18:37:37 15° SSE visible
28 Jan -1.4 17:45:21 10° SSE 17:46:06 11° SE 17:46:51 10° SE visible
28 Jan -1.5 19:18:52 10° SW 19:20:03 19° SSW 19:20:03 19° SSW visible
29 Jan -2.4 18:26:43 10° SSW 18:29:27 25° SSE 18:29:46 24° SE visible
29 Jan -0.4 20:02:20 10° WSW 20:02:25 11° WSW 20:02:25 11° WSW visible
30 Jan -1.8 17:34:48 10° SSW 17:37:05 18° SSE 17:39:23 10° ESE visible
30 Jan -2.4 19:09:54 10° WSW 19:12:04 33° SSW 19:12:04 33° SSW visible
31 Jan -2.9 18:17:32 10° SW 18:20:34 35° SSE 18:21:41 27° ESE visible
31 Jan -0.8 19:53:33 10° W 19:54:19 16° WSW 19:54:19 16° WSW visible
01 Feb -2.3 17:25:18 10° SW 17:28:07 27° SSE 17:30:57 10° E visible
01 Feb -3.2 19:01:02 10° WSW 19:03:53 49° SSW 19:03:53 49° SSW visible
02 Feb -3.2 18:08:33 10° WSW 18:11:43 46° SSE 18:13:26 22° ESE visible
02 Feb -1.3 19:44:45 10° W 19:46:05 21° WSW 19:46:05 21° WSW 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
Jan 20, 05:39:28 -0.7 35° 358° (N) Iridium 31 30 km (E) -7.6 -21° 
Jan 20, 05:42:44 -5.3 34° 356° (N) Iridium 59 8 km (W) -7.6 -21° 
Jan 20, 17:19:14 0.8 23° 204° (SSW) Iridium 91 58 km (W) -6.4 -9° 
Jan 21, 05:36:53 -3.2 32° 357° (N) Iridium 95 15 km (W) -7.5 -21° 
Jan 21, 17:12:24 -6.3 24° 204° (SSW) Iridium 55 7 km (W) -6.4 -8° 
Jan 21, 17:13:06 -6.4 24° 204° (SSW) Iridium 59 3 km (E) -6.5 -8° 
Jan 21, 17:31:17 -0.3 16° 279° (W) Iridium 8 87 km (E) -8.9 -10° 
Jan 21, 18:37:32 0.4 40° 160° (SSE) Iridium 61 44 km (W) -7.8 -19° 
Jan 22, 05:33:14 0.0 30° 357° (N) Iridium 57 40 km (W) -7.4 -22° 
Jan 22, 17:07:01 0.5 25° 204° (SSW) Iridium 95 54 km (E) -6.5 -7° 
Jan 23, 05:26:57 0.3 28° 357° (N) Iridium 31 43 km (W) -7.3 -22° 
Jan 23, 17:10:21 -1.1 21° 210° (SSW) Iridium 32 35 km (W) -6.1 -7° 
Jan 23, 18:27:00 -4.2 39° 162° (SSE) Iridium 35 11 km (W) -7.8 -18° 
Jan 24, 05:19:24 -1.4 25° 359° (N) Iridium 60 26 km (W) -7.1 -23° 
Jan 24, 17:09:55 0.8 19° 212° (SSW) Iridium 58 65 km (W) -6.0 -7° 
Jan 24, 18:24:30 -2.0 40° 165° (SSE) Iridium 61 20 km (W) -7.8 -17° 
Jan 25, 05:13:29 -3.9 23° 0° (N) Iridium 45 12 km (W) -7.0 -24° 
Jan 26, 05:07:41 -1.3 21° 1° (N) Iridium 32 27 km (W) -6.8 -25° 
Jan 26, 07:08:31 -1.9 62° 351° (N) Iridium 97 18 km (E) -8.4 -7° 
Jan 26, 17:03:16 -5.8 19° 215° (SW) Iridium 57 2 km (W) -5.8 -5° 




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!', 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.




JANUARY 20, 2018.

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

JANUARY 20, 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.



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

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.

JANUARY 19 at 18h 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. JANUARY 29 - OCCULTATION OF 71 Orionis.
Visual magnitude: +5.20 Disappearance at dark limb: 01h 20 UT

(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

Constellation: CAPRICORNUS.

The northern WINTER SOLSTICE was on DECEMBER 21 at 16h 29 UT.
At that time, northern WINTER began. In the southern hemisphere it was the start of Summer.

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 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 Wonderful Sunrise this Morning over Newby. 19.1.2018.
Photograph by Ian Atkinson.




SUNRISE:             08h 08   GMT


SUNSET:              16h 15   GMT 


MOONRISE:         09h 18  GMT          


MOONSET:          18h 56  GMT       






LOW:                    23h 29     GMT  (THU)


HIGH:                   05h 29     GMT  


LOW:                    11h 32    GMT 


HIGH:                   17h 36    GMT  


LOW:                    00h 01    GMT  (SAT) 


HIGH:                   06h 05    GMT  (SAT)


LOW:                    12h 05    GMT  (SAT)


HIGH:                   18h 12    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.



SCARBOROUGH - OUTSKIRTS. Another view of a spectacular Sunrise. 19.1.2018.
Photograph by Ian Atkinson.

MARS on JANUARY 30 at 06h UT (ZENITH is up)
The image will be inverted in an astronomical telescope!)

Generated using 'Stellarium' software



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: JANUARY 07 at 07h 25 UT., JANUARY 10 at 04h 15 UT. JANUARY 13 at 01h 04 UT. JANUARY 15 at 21h 53 UT. and JANUARY 18 at 18h 42 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)



JUPITER and the GALILEAN SATELLITES: The configuration above is as you would see in binoculars, at 07h UT on JANUARY 20 looking SOUTH , in 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. JANUARY 20 at 07h UT.

Images generated using CELESTIA software.