Kiwi stargazers miss out on a lunar eclipse but as the moon skirts its closest to earth we can still see the "supermoon".

An eclipse will be visible overnight in the United States and western parts of Europe.

New Zealanders will just have to make do with the moon at its largest and brightest, as it reaches its full-moon apex just before 4pm tomorrow.

"We won't see an eclipse until January 2018," said Dr Grant Christie, of Auckland's Stardome Observatory.

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He said the moon circles the Earth in an elliptical orbit and, at its closest right now, it appeared about 10 per cent larger than when it was at its furthest away.

The term for its shortest distance is "perigee".

It's still about 360,000 km away though.