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New Zealand’s first "super blood moon" in 39 years also delivered this year’s biggest viewing event at the Beverly-Begg Observatory in Dunedin last night.
Dunedin Astronomical Society past president Ash Pennell was yesterday delighted at least 80 members of the society and the public gathered at the observatory to watch the total lunar eclipse.
Blood moons occur when the earth lines up between the moon and the sun.
This hides the moon from sunlight and blocks most of the blue light, with the remaining light refracting onto the moon's surface and causing a red glow.
A "super moon", meanwhile, occurs when the moon is at its closest point in its orbit around Earth - making it appear much larger than usual.
Last night, the moon was entirely within the earth’s shadow for about 15 minutes from 11.11pm.
Extra telescopes had been made available.
"I think it’s the event of the year," Mr Pennell said.
It was an "excellent night" in the city for viewing, better than for other recent eclipses.
Several factors, including the close proximity of the earth and moon, added to the occasion.Dunedin resident Jacquetta Burleigh said the moon was "bright as a button" and she enjoyed the "community event" at the observatory.