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Moon sequence . . . A sequence of moon images showing how the moon changed its appearance throughout Wednesday evening. Photo: Jean Williams at Photography by Jean

By David Hill

North Canterbury stargazers were rewarded for staying up late on Wednesday evening.

On a bright, clear night Oxford Area School Observatory volunteer James Moffat was thrilled to see his first full lunar eclipse in two decades, after the last two were clouded out.

“It was a great night at the observatory,” James says.

Impressive sight . . . A “blood, supermoon” provides an impressive sight for stargazers on Wednesday night. Photo: Jean Williams at Photography by Jean

“Only a handful of people braved the freezing temperatures and it was a late finish, but we were rewarded with a perfect night.”

The moon was entirely within the Earth’s shadow for 15 minutes from 11.11pm for the full lunar eclipse.

Known as a “blood supermoon”, it occurs when the Earth lines up between the sun and the moon.

The reddish light passes through the Earth’s atmosphere and refracts on to the moon, creating the blood-red colour across the lunar surface.