Blood moon: Kiwis turn out in droves to look for the selenelion

  • 28/07/2018

The first pictures of the selenelion have emerged after Kiwis turned out in droves on a cold weekend morning to see the eclipse.

Earth's shadow moved across the moon around 8am on Saturday morning - coincidentally at the same time as the sunrise.

Space scientist Duncan Steel says we usually see lunar eclipses once every three years, but this one's a little special.

"It turns out that in fact it is possible to see the eclipsed moon as it sets… but also the sun rising at the same time in the exact opposite direction."

Curious armature astronomers looked to the skies to see the moon slowly disappear as the sun appeared, with various degrees of success across the country.

Martin Vallance sent Newshub video of the eclipse from Christchurch, showing the shadow making its way across the moon.

Further south in Tapanui, the Rangiwai family got up early in the morning and was able to watch the eclipse, but missed the full eclipse due to cloud cover.

The Rangiwai family's photo of the moon.
The Rangiwai family's photo of the moon. Photo credit: Supplied.

Social media users were a little less successful, with Twitter users remarking they missed all the action.

"Sadly no sign of the moon's side of the SELENELION from where I was this morning, but I didn't feel let down by the view," wrote Twitter user Fitz Bunny.

"Missed viewing the [selenelion] this morning due to the surrounding [mountains] obscuring the sight," said The Dell B&B.

Otago Museum was successful however, and posted a breathtaking picture of the moon on its Twitter account.

Astronomer Josh Kirkley posted a picture of the moon on his Instagram, saying he was pleased to have gotten a picture of the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century.

"Those of us in New Zealand didn't get to see the full duration of the eclipse unfortunately, as it occurred when the moon was setting," he wrote.