Blood micro moon rising: First images appear of near-total lunar eclipse

Kiwis last night witnessed the longest partial lunar eclipse fully visible from Aotearoa in more than 800 years.

The moon's face was 97 per cent covered by the deepest part of the Earth's shadow, turning the lunar surface briefly red.

Late evening traffic in Christchurch will be watching on. Photo / George Heard

Josh Kirkley, an astronomy educator at the Stardome Observatory and Planetarium, says the reason this particular eclipse - dubbed a blood micro moon - is special is because of the long time it was on display.

"It's ... one of the longest we've had in about 800 years," he said.

It took place over three hours and 28 minutes last night - the longest since the year 1212.

Aucklanders are witnessing the moon slowly grow more red as the eclipse continues. Photo / Greg Bowker
The eclipse is starting, as seen in Hawke's Bay. Photo / Paul Taylor

Skygazers saw the near-total eclipse begin very soon after moonrise at 8pm. They then saw Earth's shadow gradually cover the surface of the moon as it rose higher in the sky.

Stargazers watch the partial blood moon from Cornwall Park on Friday evening in Auckland. Photo / Greg Bowker
Stargazers watch the partial blood moon from Cornwall Park on Friday evening in Auckland. Photo / Greg Bowker

- additional reporting Māori Television


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