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A ‘super blood moon’ will coincide with a lunar eclipse this week for rare spectacle

A ‘super blood moon’ will coincide with a lunar eclipse this week for rare spectacle

Onlookers will catch a rare phenomenon during next week's lunar eclipse. 

A ‘super blood moon’ will coincide with a lunar eclipse this week for rare spectacle

Look up to the sky on Wednesday 26 May and you’ll be able to catch the first – and only – total lunar eclipse of the year. Astronomers say the spectacle will be even more special, as it coincides with ‘super blood moon’, when the moon is closest to the Earth.

This combination will mean the moon will appear bright and coloured red. The phenomenon is due to the way light passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, University of Auckland senior lecturer of physics Dr Nicholas James Rattenbury told RNZ. 

“What’s happening is that the light from the sun is partly going through the Earth’s atmosphere and the blue light gets scattered down to us – that’s why the sky appears to be blue – and the red light which is left over keeps on going through the atmosphere and gets bent onto the surface of the Moon kind of like a lens.”

If conditions are clear, the total lunar eclipse should be easily visible with the naked eye. It can be seen from around 11 pm – 11:20 pm on Wednesday 26 May.

For the best viewing opportunity, head away from street lights and grab some binoculars for an enhanced view.

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