New Zealanders will get the rare opportunity to observe a partial lunar eclipse when the shadow of the earth partially obscures the moon, later this month.
The eclipse will be visible to the naked eye in all parts of the country on Saturday, June 26, with the best viewing available between 10.30pm and 12.30am.
Stardome astronomer Grant Christie expects the partial eclipse will be of interest to a wide range of astronomers and the general public.
He said people wanting a more detailed explanation of what is happening are encouraged to gather at the Stardome Observatory in Auckland where special shows will be put on for the big event.
Weather permitting, there will also be complimentary viewing from telescopes set up outside.
He said eclipses of the moon were fun to watch. The ancient Greeks used them to prove the Earth was round (from the shape of the shadow) and to estimate the relative size of the Earth and Moon. The next full eclipse occurs in December but only those in the northern part of the country will see it.
The eclipse shows in the Stardome Planetarium will cost $10, and screen at 9pm, 9.30pm, 10pm and 10.30pm.
For bookings and information phone 090-624-1246 or visit www. stardome.org.nz.