Topic: Weather

Best spot for Blood Moon Gazing

By Kawe Roes
  • Northland
  • Auckland
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty
  • North Island: West Coast
  • North Island: East Coast
  • Wellington
  • South Island

New Zealanders in the south will have the best chance of seeing tomorrow morning’s total lunar eclipse.

While the higher the vantage point the better the views, best spots will be central Otago, Canterbury and the lower North Island.

The total eclipse will be most visible in our skies in the south-west between 6.20am and 7.20am.  It is the longest lunar eclipse this century.

A total lunar eclipse, or selenium, occurs when the earth moves between the sun and the moon, blocking light to the moon’s surface.

While not all will be able to see, many will notice its effect – a Red Moon.

The red effect is caused by a scattering of colours during a lunar eclipse.

During the alignment, sunlight hits the earth's atmosphere which has a strong blue haze due to its oceans.  Sunlight scatters the blue but red or orange rays are stronger and can push through.

The red or orange rays bleed through the atmosphere hitting the moon, turning it a blood red or orange.

There are about four lunar eclipses each year.  This is the longest because for the last four billion years the moon has been moving away from the Earth and has now reached the perfect spot for the lunar alignment.