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How to check out the super blue blood moon this week

What's Fresh 30/01/2018

Stay tuned and get ready to stay up late - an extremely rare super blue blood moon is coming to our skies this week.

The event, which Kiwis will be able to watch on Wednesday night, is the third of what NASA has dubbed the 'Supermoon Trilogy'.

A super moon is when a full moon coincides with a close approach to Earth. A blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. Finally, a blood moon is a total eclipse that gives the moon a red hue as the sun's light travels through our atmosphere.

Overall, the moon will be around 14 percent brighter and 30 percent larger than usual - plus have a reddish tint.

The last time these events coincided was in 1866, 152 years ago.

The best way to see it

The event will start during moonrise on Wednesday evening. The moon will move into the shadow of the Earth at 11:51pm NZT on January 31.

The alignment of the sun, moon and Earth will last one hour and 16 minutes, and the full eclipse will peak at 1:51am on February 1.

By 5am, the moon will be back in the full light of the sun.

The best place in all New Zealand to see it could be the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve in the South Island.

Light pollution in the 4300 square kilometre area is strongly controlled, and it's the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere - meaning it has the best views of the night sky possible.

If you don't want to travel that far, anywhere out of the city and away from the light pollution will be best to see as many of the moon's details as possible - especially if you're using a telescope.

In Auckland, Stardome will be holding a special lunar eclipse sighting at its observatory.

But watch out for the weather.

"From Wednesday through to the end of the weekend we see the potential for a lot higher rainfall figures that we have seen for a while which will also be accompanied by gale force winds," MetService warns.

The South Island's West Coast will be hit worst with heavy rain as Cyclone Fehi arrives, while the North Island's west coast could also face showers.