Scientists from around the world will travel to Central Otago next week to observe a rare astronomical event that is likely to last just 90 seconds.
Early on Tuesday, the dwarf planet Pluto will pass in front of a star which will shine light on the planet, giving scientists the best possible opportunity in nearly a decade to observe its atmosphere.
The phenomenon is called a stellar occultation.
According to astronomers, NIWA's atmospheric research station at Lauder offers the best chance of seeing it.
Scientists are particularly interested in this occultation because it will occur two weeks before NASA spaceship New Horizons is due to fly past Pluto collecting data and images.