Look out for Halloween full moon, Orionid meteor shower and bright Mars in the sky this October

Halloween will be extra spooky this year when a full moon rises on Oct. 31, something that won't happen again for nearly two decades.

The moon will actually be a blue moon, which refers not to the color of the moon but rather to the fact that it is the second full moon in a calendar month. (In rare and unrelated circumstances, dust or smoke particles in the atmosphere can sometimes make the moon appear blue.)

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While a blue moon may appear blue for unrelated reasons, the term actually refers to the second full moon in a calendar month.

We won't see another full moon on Halloween until 2039, according to AccuWeather.

The Halloween blue moon isn't the only thing happening in the skies in October. Here are two other things to keep an eye out for:

  • Mars will shine brightly in the sky on Oct. 13, when it reaches opposition, meaning the planet is at the point in its orbit when it's closest to the Earth. It will be the red planet's brightest display in the sky since July 2018.
  • Meteors will return to the skies on Oct. 20 as part of the annual Orionid meteor shower. You can expect to see up to 20 meteors per hour under clear, moonless conditions.
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