Get ready to stargaze - well, moongaze - tonight!

By Andrea Wurzburger
November 11, 2019 07:30 AM
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Another full moon is upon us and this one has a very interesting name. The November Full Beaver Moon will appear on November 12, 2019 at 8:34 A.M. EST, and it actually holds some significance for those of us hoping to start fresh. Full moons are often thought of as a time of renewal, and with this Full Beaver Moon, it’s time to clear out your space before the start of winter. Whether you’re howling at it or basking in the light of it is none of our business, but here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the upcoming Full Beaver Moon.

What is a Beaver Moon?

Did you know that every month of the year has a full moon, and that each and every one of those moons has a nickname? If you’re looking at a full moon in January, you’re actually looking at the Wolf Moon. In February, the Snow Moon (or Hunger Moon, which sounds way more ominous). In March, you’re staring up at the Worm Moon—which seems slightly less romantic. In April, we had a Pink Moon and in July, a Buck Moon. Most recently, we looked upon the Hunter’s Moon in October.

But why all of these extremely specific nicknames? It turns out that they correspond to the season. The full moon in November that we see is called the Beaver Moon, a name that signifies the setting of beaver traps by colonists and Algonquin Native Americans because, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, “this was the time to set traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.” This is the time of the year when beavers get ready to hibernate before the winter, having built their dams and prepared for the upcoming cold season, which also makes it prime time to trap them.

The moon was also called the Frost Moon because it—unsurprisingly—signaled the first frost.

When will I be able to see the Beaver Moon?

The Full Beaver Moon will reach its peak fullness on Tuesday, November 12, at 8:34 A.M. EST, which means that good viewing times will include Monday night and after sunset on Tuesday the 12th. In order to get the best view, make sure you wait until the sky is at its darkest and where there’s minimal light pollution.

What is a full moon?

Did you know that the moon does not give off any light? It only looks like it’s glowing because it reflects the light around it. A full moon is when the moon is entirely lit up from the Earth’s perspective because the Earth is located between the sun and the moon.

So, what is a new moon?

A new moon is pretty much the opposite. At new moon, the moon is between the Earth and the sun, and the side of the moon that we see does not receive any sunlight. Instead, it’s lit by the light reflected off of the Earth, which is why it looks either super faint, or not visible at all. You probably will also be happy to be reminded it’s also the title of one of the Twilight movies.

How many full moons are there in a year?

If you miss this one, then not to fear: A full moon appears once every 30 days, which means that there is one full moon per month for you to bathe in and reset yourself with. December’s moon is known as the Cold Moon, whose name really says it all, so bundle up!

When is the next full moon?

December’s Full Cold Moon is due to appear on December 12.

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