Super moon but not a blue moon

If Wednesday night is clear we get a chance to look at a reasonably special astronomical event close to us.

RNZ: Super blue blood moon eclipse on the cards

Three unusual lunar events will coincide on Wednesday night: a blue moon, a super moon and a blood moon.

A super moon is when the moon gets the closest to earth.

And a blood moon or total lunar eclipse happens when the earth, sun and moon are all lined up, making the moon appear red.

Physics professor Richard Easther of Auckland University said even for someone in his profession, it was going to be a special event.

“To be corny, it’s a majesty of the heavens…I don’t want to wax too poetic but the same human instincts that makes the sky cool for everybody certainly works for astrophysicists.”

Of course much will depend on what the weather is like on Wednesday night. The Dunedin forecast is currently for late rain and increasing cloud (and 33 degrees), and Auckland is also for cloud increasing, so prospects aren’t good.

It’s a reasonably rare calendar event.

It will be the first time a super blue blood moon has occurred on the same night since 31 March,1866.

But technically in New Zealand it won’t be a ‘blue moon’.

A ‘blue moon’ is just a calendar quirk, as is New Zealand’s time zone.


  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  January 28, 2018

    I will write a note and put it on the door ! It may be on the news, but may not if a teejus human (un)interest(ing) American story can be found to fill several minutes of news time telling us about someone we’ve never heard doing something we don’t want to know about.

    • Gezza

       /  January 28, 2018

      Cloudy skies forecast for Welly Wed & Thur. Put it into my mobile calendar anyway. Might be lucky. Although I’ve yet to see a meteor shower – every time a good one comes around the skies seem to be cloudy in Welly.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  January 28, 2018

        I have seen a few. One was so magnificent that I can’t believe that it wasn’t on the news. I was out and couldn’t the house I was going to-started back in a very bad temper having had a long walk, some up a steep hill for nothing. It began to rain. Oh, great, BUT when it stopped….the sky was suddenly full of flying stars. I have never seen anything like it, the whole sky was lit up ! They kept on for ages, all the time I was walking home and long enough after it to let my old man see quite a good show. Magic.

        • Gezza

           /  January 28, 2018

          Just watched a satellite going over, SSE heading NNW. Lucky to spot it. There was only one star out for a movement reference & skies are getting cloudy. It was moving pretty fast.