'Super blood wolf moon': Why it'll be a complete let-down for Kiwis

Next week's rare 'super blood wolf moon' is going to be a real let-down for Kiwis hoping for a display as spectacular as its name.

While both North and South America, Scandinavia and the UK will get the full five-hour show, New Zealand skywatchers will only get four minutes of a partial penumbral eclipse - the hazy edge of the Earth's shadow - and to make matters worse, the sun will still be up.

At 8:43pm on Monday as the moon begins to rise, a tiny slither of it will be "a little bit fainter than the rest", according to timeanddate.com - but only for Kiwis in the upper half of the North Island or Hawke's Bay.

And to make things even more difficult, you'll have to be somewhere high with an unobstructed view of the horizon to see it on the horizon.

"The moon exits the penumbra just as it sets in New Zealand and no change in colour or brightness will be visible despite timeanddate.com saying five minutes will be visible," astronomy educator Josh Kirkley of Stardome told Newshub. "I know this from personal experience."

And five minutes later, it'll be all over.

"It is not worth camping up for unless they just want to see a normal full moon," added Mr Kirkley.

The closest place to New Zealand with a view of the full eclipse is the west coast of the Americas - so be prepared to shell out for last-minute flights to LA or Santiago.

The moon at Kinloch, Lake Wakapitu.
The moon at Kinloch, Lake Wakapitu. Photo credit: Getty

So why the awesome 'super blood wolf moon' name?

Well, a 'wolf' moon is just any full moon that appears in January. We get at least 12 full moons a year, so there's nothing special about it.

And a 'blood moon' is just a fun name that's gained popularity in recent years to describe a total eclipse, because the moon takes on a reddish hue as it moves into the Earth's shadow.

A supermoon happens when a full moon coincides with its closest approach to Earth, making it appear 10 to 15 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than usual.

We're not the only ones missing out

Though it'll be perhaps the lamest lunar eclipse in New Zealand history, at least we'll get five minutes of muted joy.

Australia, China, Indonesia, India and all of southeast Asia miss out altogether.

Where the 'blood moon' will be visible - red = total eclipse visible, clear = no eclipse visible.
Where the 'blood moon' will be visible - red = total eclipse visible, clear = no eclipse visible. Photo credit: Supplied

And if you're on Antarctica, you'll have to travel all the way up the Antarctic Peninsula, near the southern tip of Chile and Argentina, to get a partial show.