Look Up! This Is Your Last Chance to See a Blue Moon Until 2020

iStock
iStock

Lately, blue moons haven't been as rare as their reputation suggests. The last one appeared at the tail-end of January and coincided with a super moon and a total lunar eclipse. The next blue moon is set to light up skies on March 31, and though it won't be accompanied by any of those celestial oddities this time, you shouldn't take it for granted: According to WZTV, this is your last chance to see one until 2020.

Unlike other events marking your meteorological calendar, blue moons aren't affected by anything going on in space so much as the date they happen to land on. A blue moon is the second full moon to occur within a single calendar month. The previous full moon fell on March 2, making it the last full moon of winter as well as a Full Worm Moon (that's an Old Farmer's Almanac term for a full moon that occurs when birds start searching for worms at the end of winter).

Although a blue moon is indistinguishable from a regular full moon, sky gazers have an additional reason to step outside on the night of March 31: Mercury will be close to Venus in the sky above the western horizon, making the solar system's smallest planet especially visible. The best time to spot it will be right after sunset, after which spectators can stick around to watch the full moon rise.

If you miss the blue moon this time around, you have more than two years to prepare for the next one. It's set to arrive on Halloween night 2020, so start planning your blue werewolf costume now.

[h/t WZTV]

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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UFO Sightings Are Up 51 Percent During the COVID-19 Pandemic

With more free time as a result of the pandemic, people have been reporting more UFO sightings.
With more free time as a result of the pandemic, people have been reporting more UFO sightings.
mscornelius/iStock via Getty Images

With an abundance of free time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are increasingly turning their attention to stargazing. Sometimes, they can’t quite believe what they’re seeing.

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, sightings of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, are up 51 percent in 2020 over the same time period in 2019. The data comes from the National UFO Reporting Center, a two-person operation out of Harrington, Washington, which accepts and compiles sightings from individuals and says that more than 5000 incidents have been reported this year.

Peter Davenport, who runs the Center, told the Journal that many UFO sightings can be chalked up to drones, planes, or satellites. But there are nonetheless a number that have no clear origin. Recently, the Navy even released footage of three UFOs spotted by pilots that have no obvious explanation.

In August, the Pentagon announced a task force to study “unexplained aerial phenomena,” or UAPs, another term for what could be alien aircraft surveying humans.

With more time to look skyward, people may find more UFOs or UAPs to pique their curiosity, and 2020 may ultimately end with more believers and fewer skeptics than it started with.

[h/t The Wall Street Journal]