2019 skywatching: Here are the best eclipses and meteor showers of the year

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By Denise Chow

Whether you’re a seasoned stargazer or a night sky newbie, there are plenty of celestial events to take in during 2019. Here are 14 sky shows you shouldn’t miss, including eclipses, meteor showers and a rare transit of Mercury.


Quadrantid meteor shower. Keep the New Year’s celebration going with the first major meteor shower of 2019. Though the Quadrantids start to appear in late December, they peak overnight on Jan. 3-4. The Quadrantids are typically fainter than most other meteor showers, but this year’s show may be a good one because there’s no bright moon to wash out the night sky.

Unlike most meteor showers, which arise when tiny bits of debris from a comet burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, the Quadrantids are thought to be caused by debris from an asteroid.

Partial solar eclipse. Skywatchers in northeast Asia and the north Pacific, including China, Russia and Japan, will be treated to a partial solar eclipse on Jan. 6, as the moon passes between Earth and the sun. The eclipse will start at around 6:34 p.m. ET (23:34 UTC). As with all partial and total solar eclipses, it should be viewed only with special protective glasses or gear.


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