Ben Hill is a reporter for The New Zealand Herald

Weather may ruin chances of spotting supermoon

Whangarei photographer Ross Armstrong couldn't believe his luck when a hawk flew into shot as he lined up this rare supermoon and the war memorial on Mt Parihaka. Photo / Supplied
Whangarei photographer Ross Armstrong couldn't believe his luck when a hawk flew into shot as he lined up this rare supermoon and the war memorial on Mt Parihaka. Photo / Supplied

The chances of seeing tonight's spectacular supermoon may be scuppered by poor weather.

At 8:45pm the largest supermoon for almost 70 years will be visible in the New Zealand night sky, weather permitting.

Stardome educator Vanessa Rancour said a forecast for rain may make for less-than-ideal viewing conditions.

"There is a chance that could change, it's supposed to be raining but you never know, especially in Auckland, what the weather is going to be like a couple of hours apart.

"If it is clear it's going to be on the opposite side of the sky from the sun, so when you see the sun setting in the west the moon will be rising in the east on the other side of the sky.

"If we get a nice clear night then somewhere near the eastern horizon would be the best place to view the super moon."

She said it will be the first time people can see the supermoon rising.

"It wasn't quite a supermoon last night until about 2am, so if we can see it tonight it will be very large and bright looking compared to regular full moons."

Rancour said tall peaks were the best place to be for vistas of the lunar spectacle.

"If you wanted to go up on top of any large, high hill you'll be able to see a clear view of the horizon... the top of Mt Eden for example, would give you a nice, clear view.

"One of the great ways to take photos of the moon is when you have something in the foreground so you can compare.

Inclement weather may impede tonight's supermoon viewing, but Rancour said there will be another chance to spot it later this year.

"If we can't see it tonight there's another supermoon coming on December 14."

Meanwhile a photographer has captured a remarkable shot of the supermoon with a monument and a hawk in Northland.

The photo was snapped by Whangarei amateur nature photographer Ross Armstrong, who spotted the supermoon on Sunday.

By chance as he lined up the photo of the moon and the war memorial monument at Mt Parihaka a hawk flew into the frame.

"I drove up Hatea Drive at around 7.30pm and wanted to line up the moon and the monument. Just as I did so, a hawk flew into the shot. It was perfect," he said.

- NZ Herald

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