This month features three of the brightest starts in the sky, the winter solstice, and a total lunar eclipse!

The brightest two "stars" are Venus, now visible well after sunset low in the west. Also is Jupiter, on the border between Aries and Pisces, and Aldebaran (the fifth brightest star in the sky), in Taurus (the bull). Aldebaran is frequently called the "eye of the bull." Taurus is high overhead early, also featuring the Pleiades (the Seven Sisters). Other constellations include Aries (the ram), Pisces (the fishes), Orion (the mighty hunter) and Auriga (the charioteer), with the seventh brightest star, Capella, in its midst.

The Geminid meteor shower is visible all night on Dec. 13 and 14, somewhat washed out by a nearly full moon. The Ursid meteor shower is pre-dawn on Dec. 22. The winter solstice (the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere) occurs on Dec. 21. And, finally, on Dec. 10, as the full moon is close to setting in the west, it will be fully eclipsed in a lunar eclipse. Bundle up! It's getting chilly in the evenings these days.