The universe, the final frontier left for humanity to explore. So with potentially endless possibilities for us to discover something new, you may be wondering what do we already know about this vast expanse of unchartered territory? As many ancient civilizations have had their own unique mythical interpretations as to what was happening across the skyline, maybe you too can experience the same such nebulous mysticism of space once you learn what to look out for in the night sky.

So here are five weird, rare and phenomenal sightings of the universe from our little blue planet that we can experience when we gaze up at the night sky in wonder:

1) Planetary Alignment

In the southeastern sky on March 7th: Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter will all lineup across the sky in rare display of ethereal formations. From that date the waning gibbous moon will also appear to pass seamlessly between these heavenly bodies. On March 8th the moon will also glide between Jupiter and Mars conjuring up another awe inspiring visual image in space.

2) The Hale-Bopp Comet

Discovering the comet within about five minutes of each other and then both sending messages to Brian Marsden at the IAU's Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Thomas Bopp and Alan Hale discovered their very own comet on July 22, 1995. Thomas Bopp recently died on 5th january 2018 which makes the passage of this comet all the more relevant this year, in order to celebrate the legacy of one of the men who found this comet.

3) The Solar Eclipse

Solar eclipses are quite rare in our lifetime, but frequent opportunities do arise when we can catch a glimpse of this naturally occurring phenomena. This phenomena involves the passage of the moon in front of the sun to partially block out the sun’s light and stop it from reaching the Earth. Here’s a list of the next 10 solar eclipses that you can experience in your lifetime:

  • 02 February 2019 19:24:07 in the South Pacific, Chile or Argentina
  • 14 December 2020 19:24:07 in the South Pacific, Chile, Argentina or South Atlantic
  • 04 December 2021 07:34:38 in Antarctica
  • 08 April 2024 18:18:29 in Mexico, Central US and East Canada
  • 12 August 2026 17:47:05 in the Arctic, Greenland, Iceland or Spain
  • 02 August 2027 10:07:49 in Morocco, Spain, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen or Somalia
  • 22 July 2028 02:56:39 in Australia or New Zealand
  • 25 November 2030 06:51:37 in Botswana, South Africa or Australia
  • 30 March 2033 18:02:35 in East Russia or Alaska
  • 20 March 2034 10:18:45 in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, or China

4) Blue Moon

Blue moons are fairly common these days, depending on your definition of what a blue moon is. However if you want to see the super big moon in the night sky appearing to be coloured blue, then you should definitely keep an eye on your lunar calendar and wait for the occurrence of this natural phenomena on January 31st 2018!

5) Meteor Showers and Planetary Sightings

2018 is jam-packed with meteor showers and rife with bright planetary sightings. For instance, Quadrantid is happening in the early morning of Jan. 3 or 4. Eta Aquarid meteors will follow on May 6 or 7, Perseid on the night of Aug. 12 to 13, Orionid on the night of Oct. 21 to 22, and the Leonid from Nov. 17 to 18. Perseid is then said to have the largest amount of shooting stars happening across the night sky.

So make sure that you especially don’t miss these up and coming celestial event in 2018!

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Technology is changing the way we workout and the ‘immersive fitness’ trend is going to make it easier than ever to keep fit. If like me, you find getting the motivation to hit the gym or go for a run a challenge, wearable tech could be the answer.

I feel like the things I’ve seen in 80s sci-fi movies are all coming true. Like under-the-skin tracking devices from The Matrix or driverless cars from Demolition Man (driverless cars are already being tested by Uber as we speak). So as it turns out, filmmakers are pretty good at getting future tech predictions right! There have also been a number of films featuring medical robots (such as Interstellar and Prometheus), and this is definitely something that health and fitness fans can look forward to.

But first, let’s talk about one of my favourite things at the moment…..fitness trackers!

The Stats on Wearables

According to this insightful IoT infographic, there will be 411 million wristbands, watches, glasses, shoes, socks and clothing hooked up to the internet by 2020. These wearables can offer everything from step counting, calorie and activity tracking, heart rate monitoring and much more.

Right now, you can embrace this technology with wristwear such as fitness trackers. Some of my favourites include the Fitbit Alta, which comes with SmartTrack™ automatic exercise recognition, sleep tracking, call and text alerts, as well as an easy tap display.

But if you prefer something that is more subtle, I recommend the Misfit Ray slimline tracker. I’ve been wearing it for over a month to help hit my recommended, 10,000 steps a day and it does everything the Fitbit does, but without a display. It has interchangeable straps (including leather, plastic or metal) and looks just like a fashion bracelet.

This is definitely the future of wearable trackers, with evolving design that can blend into our everyday wardrobes. And pieces that can double up as devices to provide multiple functions.

Health Trackers of the Future

Data from the same infographic tells us that not only will fitness wearables be big in a few years, but healthcare devices will be hot too. With a prediction of 646 million heart rate monitors, body implants, pill bottles, blood pressure monitors, skin patches other devices joining the IoT revolution in a few years’ time.

It will be easier than ever to access information about our own bodies, giving patients and health fanatics more control over how they take care of themselves. Perhaps one day, there will be an implant intelligent to notify me when I need add more kale to my smoothie, or when I need to take my omega-3 supplements, or when I need to change my exercise class to burn more calories.

Seems like a story of the future, right? I don’t think it’s too far from where we are now. The Internet of Things is already changing the healthcare industry, with advancements such as smart beds to track patient health, or pacemakers and diabetic insulin pumps built with smart sensors.

I’m excited to see what’s in store for us in 2018! Are you?

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