Amazing sky viewing coming in January: Lunar eclipse, meteor shower and more!

A total lunar eclipse begins as the full moon is shadowed by the Earth on the arrival of the winter solstice, Tuesday, December 21, 2010 in Arlington, VA. From beginning to end, the eclipse will last about three hours and twenty-eight minutes. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

CLEVELAND– There will be plenty of great sky viewing during the first month of 2018!

But first, we’ll close out the year with a disappearing star. The bright star Aldebaran will “wink out” at 6:16 p.m. on Dec. 30. Jay Reynolds, research astronomer at Cleveland State University, said everyone in the viewing area will be able to see it.

On Jan. 1, get out your camera ready for the first of two super moons in one month. The moon will appear 14 percent larger than average.

Then on Jan. 3, the Earth is closest to the sun.

“Everyone thinks Earth is closest to the Sun in June, not so fast! Today Earth is closest to the Sun! It sure doesn’t feel like it!” Reynolds said.

Also on Jan. 3, the Quadrant meteor shower peaks. We could see as many as 100 shooting stars an hour, if the skies are clear.

If you wake up early, you can catch Jupiter and Mars rising on Jan. 6. The planets will be next to each other just prior to dawn.

Reynolds said Jan. 31 will be awesome. It’s a combination full moon, super moon, blue moon and lunar eclipse.

The lunar eclipse happens as the moon rises in the early-morning hours. Starting at 6:49 a.m., the moon’s right edge will begin to glide into the dark shadow of our Earth.

“Clouds forbidding, we can easily view this progression till about 30 minutes before sunrise, which occurs about 7:30 a.m.,” Reynolds said.

More stories about Jay Reynolds here