MONDAY, APRIL 06, 2020.




'When, as a child, I laughed and wept, time crept.

When, as a youth, I dreamt and talked, time walked.

When I became a full grown man, time ran.

When, older still, I daily grew, time flew.

Soon I shall find, on travelling on, time gone !

Some lines written on a clock in the Cathedral Church of Christ and The Blessed Virgin Mary, Chester, U.K.

VENUS as HESPERUS, 'The Evening Star'.
from FALSGRAVE in SCARBOROUGH UK at 18h 35 UT Sunday, MARCH 22, 2020. Image by John Harper.

PLEASE NOTE : Because of the size of this FRONT PAGE, which resulted in the slow loading of the material on some machines; I have created another additional page. It is called 'FRONT PAGE continued' and can be reached using the MENU above.

You will find there, illustrations of Saturn and its fascinating moon ENCELADUS, thought to be a possible abode of life, as is Jupiter's satellite Europa (also to be seen on this additional page)

THE TWO QUADRANT CHARTS, updated monthly are now to be found on the supplementary FRONT PAGE also.

SKYNOTES are available. Use The MENU above to find the current month's SKYNOTES.

ASTEROIDAL OCCULTATIONS for THE CURRENT MONTH accessible via the Menu above (ASTEROIDAL EVENTS). Thanks For those Andrej !

VENUS, the "EVENING STAR" , 'HESPERUS' of the Ancients cannot be missedin the western sky at dusk, shining brilliantly in the twilight. The current phase of the planet, visible through any small telescope is shown below.

REMOTE PLANETS. The paths of URANUS, NEPTUNE, and PLUTO, have been updated for 2020. 

POEM by Richard H Mann 'FRIENDS OF MINE' added to the ASTRONOMICAL POETRY page (see MENU above)



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 site:







Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
01 May -1.7 03:25:18 10° SSW 03:27:44 19° SSE 03:30:10 10° ESE visible
02 May -1.4 02:39:04 11° S 02:40:32 14° SE 02:42:20 10° ESE visible
03 May -2.6 03:26:22 10° SW 03:29:24

MOON and VENUS conjunction, FEBRUARY 27, 2020. Imaged by Maurice Bradwell, from Heath Common, overlooking WAKEFIELD, West Yorkshire.

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 also 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.


Historically, these 'Skynotes' are a direct cyber-descendent, of the paper skynotes I prepared, for many years, 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 46 years, but as the latin inscription tells us: TEMPVS FVGIT ! (Time Flies!)

 There are quite a number of 'pages' in this new version of 'SKYNOTES'. They are listed in the MENU at the top of the page. My hope is that 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, particularly when I forget what I was talking about, having gone off at a 'tangent' (= digression). These include: Yorkshire Coast Radio and Radio Scarborough, 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 thank-you for two very special teachers I had when I was growing up. First, Miss M Walker (later Mrs Martin). I was in her class at Normanton Secondary Modern School, before transfering to The Grammar School at the age of 13. She gave me a small note nook in which to write about and draw events taking place in the night sky. This was the tiny 'seed' which was eventually to grow into these 'SkyNotes' . Secondly, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the late Senior English Master, of 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, by Jonathan Swift, despite the difficulties I had in reading words. Thanks to him, I can now read properly and he taught me the confidence, to be able to share my love of Astronomy with all to whom I am invited to speak, and to become a teacher myself.

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, in all the many aspects of your life!

John Harper. B.Ed. (Honoris Causa), and alumnus of the University of Chester, T.Cert, School of Education, Victoria University of Manchester (Padgate College of Education, Warrington, Cheshire). F.R.A.S.



ABOUT ME:  '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 farmhouse late at night, a great Moon rising round and bright.

Her strange beams shead 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', bloomed in profusion. These two launched me, well and truly, towards 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 SCARBOROUGH 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'.

Together with the members of Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society, I try to give opportunities for people to look at the night sky when special events take place, 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 Astronomy, which has captivated me for so long!




APRIL 06 at 20h UT Moon Phase


Key to LUNAR FEATURES. FULL MOON is on APRIL 08 at 02h 35 UT

Next chosen LUNAR OCCULTATION visible from Scarborough UK

APRIL 07 The SUN'S celestial position at 12h UT

APRIL 06 (AM) Today's SOLAR PHOTOSPHERE image in visible light, courtesy of NASA

REMEMBER ------- NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY 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 !

Full Moon rising over Scarborough, MARCH 09.
Image courtesy of @FeelBetter2day
Thanks Linda.


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.

ASTRONOMICAL EVENTS due this month may be found in the MONTHLY SKYNOTES,accessible via the MENU above, and on the supplementary 'FRONT PAGE', see above.

JUPITER'S GALILEAN SATELLITES. Their daily changing configuration in relation to Jupiter.

The daily configuration graphic may be seen below.

JUPITER is in conjunction with the SUN at the end of DECEMBER, therefore this is suspended until 2020.


the Planets in APRIL

image courtesy of Faith Young. Thanks Faith.

FEBRUARY'S FULL MOON Image courtesy of Karl Parkinson, PICKERING, February 08, 2020. Thanks Karl



APRIL 06, 2020.

RISE: 06h 20 

SET:  19h 47 


13h 27m 32s 


RISE: 15h 54. SET:  06h 19



APRIL 06, 2020.


HW:  03h 39 

LW:   09h 54 

HW:  15h 49

LW:   22h 25  

The images of SCARBOROUGH preceeding and following these tables are by kind peremission of people who live here, and who are justifiably proud of their seaside town on the Yorkshire Coast. 

SCARBOROUGH NORTH BAY Sunset in early April. Image courtesy of @FeelBetter2day . Thanks Linda!


ORION showing the brightening of BETELGEUSE over a couple of weeks during MARCH. Images by MAURICE BRADWELL, Wakefield astronomer.Thanks Maurice

VENUS passing through The Pleiades, APRIL, 2020. Image by MAURICE BRADWELL, Wakefield astronomer.Thanks Maurice