'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.

O Christ! Wilt Thou have saved me then?


Some lines written on a clock in the Cathedral Church of Christ and The Blessed Virgin Mary, Chester, U.K. It is attached to the clock case in the north transept of the cathedral and was written by Henry Twells (1823 - 1900).

John's SkyNotes

FEBRUARY STAR CHART 2021. The planetary positions are correct for the end of the month! (Generated using Cybersky software)

 This is an educational site (I was and am a teacher!), which is updated daily. I invite you to download any of the material you find here. Please feel free to download any of the content, which could be of use, or of interest to you. That is what this 'SKYNOTES' website is here for, after all! 


Welcome to, 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.

Historically, these 'Skynotes' are a direct cyber-descendent, of the paper Sky notes I prepared, for many years, by hand, for members, at each meeting of the Scarborough Astronomical Society from the moment the Society began in February, 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 must thank the many programmers who have produced these wonderful software gems. In the credits section you will find a list of these amazing sources which allow me to continue to produce my 'Skynotes', for the benefit of all. It does not seem that they have been produced continuously for over 46 years, but as the Latin inscription reminds us: tempvs fvgit ! (time flies)!. There are many 'pages' in this different version of 'Skynotes'. These 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 and ambition.

I record here also a special 'Thank-you' for two very special teachers. First, Miss M Walker (later Mrs Martin). I was in her form at Normanton Secondary Modern school, before transferring 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 to be the tiny 'seed' which would eventually 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, to the class, several pages of Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift, despite the difficulties I had, at that time in reading words. Thanks to him, I can now read fluently; but more importantly, he taught me to have confidence, to be able to share my love of astronomy with all to whom I have been invited to speak; and ultimately 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!


Finally, I want to say a huge 'Thank You!' to friends, collegues and some of my ex students who provide me with excellent images which they have, very kindly, given me permission to use.

 The BLOG (About Me) bit is on a separate page. You can find it, if you are interested, via the MENU above!

This beautiful view of Dawn over the Castle Headland, in late October, is by Scarborough astronomer Fred Tiles, Thanks Fred

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)

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 !

REMOTE PLANETS. The paths of URANUS, NEPTUNE, and PLUTO, have been updated for 2021. 

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:


The TIMES shown here are UNIVERSAL TIME   So when SUMMER TIME is in force, you must ADD ONE HOUR.  SUMMER TIME is not in force, so the times given in the table are LOCAL GMT TIME 


Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
20 Feb -0.7 06:07:03 10° SSE 06:08:20 12° SE 06:09:38 10° ESE visible


Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
22 Feb -1.4 06:06:55 10° SSW 06:09:34 22° SSE 06:12:14 10° E visible
23 Feb -1.1 05:20:00 10° S 05:22:11 16° SE 05:24:22 10° ESE visible
24 Feb -1.0 04:33:58 11° SSE 04:34:49 12° SE 04:36:06 10° ESE visible
24 Feb -2.4 06:07:48 10° SW 06:10:55 35° SSE 06:14:01 10° E visible
25 Feb -2.1 05:21:23 16° SSW 05:23:26 28° SSE 05:26:21 10° E visible
26 Feb -1.8 04:35:44 21° SSE 04:35:58 22° SSE 04:38:37 10° E visible
26 Feb -3.0 06:09:03 10° WSW 06:12:19 49° S 06:15:35 10° E visible
27 Feb -0.8 03:50:02 13° ESE 03:50:02 13° ESE 03:50:43 10° ESE visible
27 Feb -2.9 05:22:59 22° SW 05:24:45 42° SSE 05:27:58 10° E visible
28 Feb -2.7 04:37:12 35° SSE 04:37:13 35° SSE 04:40:20 10° E visible
28 Feb -3.3 06:10:25 10° WSW 06:13:43 55° S 06:17:02 10° ESE visible
01 Mar -1.2 03:51:23 18° ESE 03:51:23 18° ESE 03:52:37 10° E visible
01 Mar -3.3 05:24:20 23° WSW 05:26:08 53° S 05:29:26 10° E visible
02 Mar -3.3 04:38:29 48° S 04:38:32 48° S 04:41:48 10° E visible
02 Mar -3.2 06:11:50 10° W 06:15:06 49° S 06:18:23 10° ESE visible

FEBRUARY 24 at 22h UT. NEW MOON was on FEBRUARY 11 at 19h 09 UT. FIRST QUARTER MOON is on FEBRUARY 19 at 18h 47 UT.



FEBRUARY 25: The SUN'S celestial positions at 12h UT.
Astronomical Constellation : AQUARIUS.
Astrological Sign: PISCES. On FEBRUARY 18, the SUN entered the astrological sign of PISCES, the Fishes.

FEBRUARY 24 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 !

DECEMBER 20, early evening. CROFTON , near WAKEFIELD. Astronomer Maurice Bradwell imaged JUPITER (the brighter of the two) and SATURN, as twilight was fading. Thanks Maurice



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.


FEBRUARY'S FULL MOON : FEBRUARY 27 in LEO, The LION. The moment of FULL MOON is on this day at 08h 17 UT.

The angular diameter of the Planets compared, in FEBRUARY, 2021

SCARBOROUGH, The Italian Gardens above SOUTH BAY, Winter. Image courtesy of Faith Young @FaithYoungWriter.
Thanks Faith.

The waxing First Quarter Moon, Sunrise over the Lunar Apennines, and the 'Sea of Showers' Imaged by:
@FeelBetter2day from SCARBOROUGH. UK in JANUARY, 2021, Thanks Linda!



FEBRUARY 24, 2021.

RISE: 07h 01

SET:  17h 28


10h 27m 10s

(The INCREASE is by 04m 18s)



RISE: 13h 30.  SET: 06h 13. 





HW:  02h 03

 LW:  08h 07 

HW:  14h 25

LW:   20h 40


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

SCARBOROUGH, NORTH BAY, on a fine evening in February. Image courtesy of @FeelBetter2day . Thanks Linda

FEBRUARY,2021 JUPITER and the GALILEAN SATELLITES. The Date is at the side. The horizontal line shows the positions of the satellites at 00h Universal Time. Interpolate to find the arrangement at other times in the day. Chart courtesy of CoelixApex Software.
Plese note: in this chart SOUTH is at the top , NORTH is at the bottom.

ANNULAR ECLIPSE OF THE SUN - JUNE 10, 2021. Annularity occurs at the UT times indicated on the map. The limits of where the eclipse can be seen is marked. NB - A partial eclipse is visible from the UK !The 'layers' in the 'Eclipse Zone' on the map show the percentage of Sun covered by the Moon. Each segment is a 10% increase, starting at the edge (10%) and finishing at the centre at Annularity (100% MOON on SUN) .
Future solar and lunar eclipses for UK, may be found using the MENU above.

PARTIAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN - JUNE 10, 2021. This diagram shows the maximum extent of partiality as may be seen from , which occurs at 10h 18 UT(11h 18 BST) from SCARBOROUGH UK, at maximum partiality. Partiality begins at 09h 10 UT (10h 10 BST), and ends at 11h 30 UT (12h 30 BST)
(Remember, never to look at the Sun directly, as this could blind you; instead peoject its image onto a screen !)