'Blood moon' lunar eclipse seen in NZ

18:01, Apr 15 2014
Total lunar eclipse
From Greytown, South Wairarapa, Suzanne Fryer captured this image.
Total lunar eclips
This distant image was sent in by Dave McKenna.
Total lunar eclipse
Shaelyn Hirst sent in this image.
Total lunar eclipse
Dan Young said he took this image through a gap in the clouds in Wanaka.
total lunar eclipse
Will Hamilton took this shot from Ohaupo, Waikato.
total lunar eclipse
In rural Featherston, South Wairarapa, Lisa Morley took this image at 6.55pm.
Total lunar eclipse
A different shot from Palmerston North by Gareth Orme.
total lunar eclipse
Kate Loader in Hamilton got this shot of just a sliver of moon still visible.
Total lunar eclipse
Taken from Aokautere, Palmerston North, by Paul Rea who said there was a "perfect view of stars, milky way and tonight's Moon."
Total lunar eclipse
This image was sent in by David Frampton and was taken through a telescope in Hawkes Bay.
Total lunar eclipse
In Cambridge, Waikato, Paula Mahood snapped this blood moon photo.
Total lunar eclipse
From Havelock North, Zaneta Vrankova sent this image.

Stargazers from Wanaka to Hawke's Bay have been treated to a total lunar eclipse tonight.

From 6pm to 8.30pm, the moon moved through the eclipse to become a blood Moon - a description that relates to light bouncing off the Moon and being refracted through the Earth's atmosphere, giving it a coppery hue.

MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett had predicted that residents in north Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay and Gisborne would have the best view of the blood moon and based on photos from Stuff readers, he was right.

Total lunar eclipse
GOLDEN: Sally Eyre took this image from Te Ahu Mairangi lookout, Wellington at moonrise. Sally Eyre

MetService tweeted a high-resolution image showing thinning cloud over Waikato, the lower North Island and the Wellington region, residents of which also stand to catch a glimpse of the rare phenomenon.

Lunar eclipse fans: latest sat image w/good cloud breaks (green) Fingers crossed it stays, more cloud to west^DC pic.twitter.com/0mNN9DGvlG

Rain on the West Coast of the South Island was creeping across the Southern Alps, making successful viewing unlikely in that region.

However, Corbett said there was always a chance the cloud could lift at just the right moment.

The eclipse is the start of a tetrad of blood moons - four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in-between and six full moons between each eclipse.

It will be visible around New Zealand from 6pm when the Moon starts to move into the Earth's shadow and will be completely within the shadow by 7.06pm. Maximum eclipse would be at 7.46pm and totality would end at 8.23pm.

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