What to look for in the night sky over the next few weeks:
Top 8 Must-See Sky Events for 2018
Get ready to see amazing eclipses, a comet encounter, planetary pairings, and more celestial wonders.https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/12/top-skywatching-events-2018-eclipses-meteors-planets-astronomy/
July 27: Mars at Its Best
On the same date as the total lunar eclipse, Mars will seem to glide close to the moon just as it reaches its peak visibility for the year. The red planet will be at opposition, when it sits opposite to the sun in the sky, from our perspective. During opposition, Mars will look like a super-bright orange star in the southern sky.
Mars does not have a perfectly circular orbit around the sun, so the red planet gets nearer and farther from Earth over time. This year, Mars will be especially close to Earth shortly after opposition, coming within 35.8 million miles of us on July 31. This combination means that Mars will be at its biggest and brightest since 2003, and it won’t get this close to us again until 2035.
August 11: Partial Solar Eclipse
At sunrise on August 11, a partial solar eclipse will greet sky-watchers across the high northern regions of North America and Europe, as well as Greenland, Iceland, and Asia. How big a solar bite you’ll see depends on your location. The most spectacular views from land will be from remote sites in Russia and large portions of northeastern China, such as around the city of Harbin, where the moon will cover 37 percent of the sun a few minutes before local sunset.
August 12-13: Perseid Meteor Shower