CROSS your fingers, toes and everything else for clear skies early on the morning of Monday, January 21, because there will be something very special going on in the sky - a total eclipse of the Moon, writes STUART ATKINSON. There was one of these last August, but you may remember how we almost everyone in the UK missed it because, after two weeks of perfectly clear skies, literally hours before the eclipse began a horrible weather front swept across the UK, covering every part of it and no one saw a thing. So we really want to see this one.

The good news is that you won't need to find somewhere really dark to watch the eclipse; you'll be able to watch the eclipse from your garden. The bad news is that if you want to watch it you'll need to either stay up very late or set your alarm for very early, because the eclipse won't begin until 3.30am. That's when we'll see the first hint of Earth's shadow on the left side of the Moon's bright disc. By 4.10am the Moon will be half eclipsed, and it will be totally eclipsed at 4.45am. For the next hour the Moon will look like a bruised orange or a copper coin in the sky, as the eclipse darkens and reddens it. At 5.45am the total phase will finish and the Moon will start to brighten again from the top, and by 6.55am the eclipse will have finished completely. By then the sky will be brightening and the Moon will be low in the west, close to setting.

Unlike a solar eclipse you won't need any special telescopes or filters to watch this lunar eclipse - you'll be able to watch the whole thing with just your naked eye. If you have a pair of binoculars though, they will show you the subtle pinks, blues and lavender hues on the Moon when it is fully eclipsed.