Supermoon rises over New Zealand skies as total lunar eclipse approaches

Tonight's the night to get off the couch, get the kids out of bed and look skyward for your chance to see the first blood supermoon in New Zealand since 1982.

Weather conditions are looking good for viewing the phenomenon, with clear skies across most of the country.

However, you'll have to be quick to catch it as it's only visible for 14 minutes.

Here's what you need to know.

When and where can I see it?

The supermoon has risen on Wednesday night but the eclipse won't begin until around 9:45pm.

However, the full blood supermoon will be in effect for just 14 minutes on Wednesday night - from 11:11pm to 11:25pm.

It will be able to be seen around New Zealand where the sky is clear of clouds and can be viewed by the naked eye.

All you have to do is get off the couch, step outside and look up.

Astronz New Zealand is also broadcasting a livestream of the phenomenon on Youtube which will begin at 9:30pm. The footage will be taken from the Auckland suburb of Torbay.

  • Send your photos of the blood supermoon through to

What is a blood supermoon?

A blood supermoon is a celestial event that is a rare combination of three factors: a full moon, a super moon and a total lunar eclipse.

A supermoon is when a full moon phase coincides with the moon's closest approach to Earth.

"A supermoon, which happens at perigee, will appear 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than its opposite, a micro moon," Stardome Observatory and Planetarium astronomy educator John Rowe explained.

A blood moon, which is also known as a total lunar eclipse, occurs when the Earth lines up between the Moon and the Sun, hiding the Moon from sunlight and blocking most of the blue light. The remaining light refracts onto the Moon's surface causing a red glow.

Rowe said it is particularly "exciting" that the two events were occurring at the same time, resulting in a blood supermoon.

What's the best way to capture it?

Stardome Observatory Astronomy Educator Josh Kirkley told The Project on Wednesday that phones are great to take photos on during the day - but "they are never that great for nighttime photography, unfortunately".

"If anyone has a DSLR camera, that's going to be your best bet. Or a telescope… or even binoculars as they are like little telescopes," he said.

"Prop them up somewhere, just hold up your camera to the eyepiece and it's like a little telescope."

However, Kirkley's best advice is to forgo a camera altogether.

"It's actually kind of nice to just put the phone away and just try to enjoy it."

What's the weather forecast?

Most of New Zealand is expected to have prime weather for the blood supermoon on Wednesday.

NIWA forecasters told Newshub the best places to view the super blood moon are: Southland, Otago, West Coast, Canterbury, Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough, Wellington, Manawatu- Whanganui, Taranaki, Waikato and Auckland.

Meteorologist Ben Noll said there is some scattered cloud forecast for Fiordland, Northland, and Bay of Plenty, but stargazers should still watch out in case there are any breaks in the cloud.

Unfortunately, Hawke's Bay and Gisborne have a reduced chance of spotting it because of thicker cloud cover.