If you missed the Super Blue Blood Moon on January 31, 2018, there are still amazing astrological events to look forward to in the near future. Though we won't have another Super Blue Blood Moon, we will have more Blue Moons and Blood Moons. The astronomy calender for 2018 includes meteors, a comet, and even two upcoming planetary alignments.
The Perseids, Leonids, and Geminids meteor showers will all light up the night sky this year, with the Geminids being the best and brightest show in December 2018. Massive comets will get closer to Earth for prime viewing potential, and Mars will also appear closer and brighter this year - moreso than it has for the past 15 years.
Mark your calendars, set a reminder or alert on your iPhone, or write it down - these are the astrological events you definitely don't want to miss.
February 15's Solar Eclipse Will Block Out Any Valentine's Day Blues
2018's first lunar eclipse was on January 31, and a solar eclipse is up next on February 15. A solar eclipse is when the Moon covers all or part of the sun, so the Moon will appear to have an ethereal glowing ring around it.
However, unlike the total solar eclipse that took place on August 21, 2017, this solar eclipse - along with the two other solar eclipses of 2018 - will only be partial. The first eclipse on February 15 will only be visible from parts of Antarctica, the Atlantic Ocean, and the southern-most part of South America. The second one occurs on July 13, and it will only be viewable from the ocean between Antarctica and Australia. The final eclipse of 2018 occurs on August 11 and will be visible from northern Europe, northern Asia and parts of eastern Asia.
Planets Will Align In March 2018 - Twice
There will be two different planetary alignment events, both in March 2018. Over March 7-8, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter will line up with the Moon, and those in the Northern Hemisphere who get up early enough will be able to see the planets near each other. The Southern Hemisphere won't see the alignment until April.
Around March 18 or 19, Venus and Mercury will also align with the Moon.
You should be able to see all these bright planets without a telescope. Head out before dawn for the best chance to see the alignment.
The Next Blue Moon Is On March 31, 2018
The next Blue Moon won't be blue because... they aren't blue.
If you see a photo of a blue-colored Moon, it likely has been done with filters. Even if the Moon does appear blue, it's because of dust and other atmospheric condition - an extremely rare occurrence. The Blue Moon now is commonly defined as the second full Moon in a calendar month. This is where the phrase "once in a blue moon" comes from. If you missed the January 31 Blue Moon, there's another coming up March 31, 2018.
1999 was the last year with two Blue Moons - we won't have another until 2037, so don't miss it.
You'll Have A Great View Of Mars In July 2018
In 2003, Mars came closer to the sun than it had in nearly 60,000 years. The red planet was visible for a few months, since it was only 34.6 million miles away.
In July of 2018, Mars will appear brighter and more visible again, and it will only be slightly farther away than it was in 2003 at 35.8 million miles. It won't be quite as bright as it was in 2003, but you'll definitely be able to see it without the aid of a telescope. Mars will become increasingly brighter until it peaks in July. It will appear brighter than Jupiter.
Mars is slightly bigger than half of Earth; when Mars brightens, it's because the red planet has moved closer to Earth. Throughout 2017, Mars and Earth were far apart in the solar system, but that is changing for 2018.