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November’s full beaver moon will shine bright this weekend

November’s full beaver moon will shine bright this weekend

By Emam Hasan AniPublished 5 months ago 4 min read
November’s full beaver moon will shine bright this weekend
Photo by Lane Jackman on Unsplash

November’s full moon, known as the beaver moon, will shine bright in the night sky starting Sunday, offering a dazzling sight to behold.

The moon will be at its fullest in the early hours of Monday, when it will reach the crest of its full phase at 4:16 a.m. ET, according to EarthSky.

"The upcoming full Moon (the Beaver Moon) will look like the familiar full Moon, however the specific features are always a little different from one Moon to the next," said Dr. Noah Petro, chief of NASA’s planetary geology, geophysics and geochemistry lab, in an email.

Due to libration—the slight movement of the moon that changes the angle at which skygazers see the one side that faces Earth—full moons vary from month to month, he said.

Local weather conditions allowing people who are north or south of the equator to see the beaver moon, with the celestial orb appearing to be full to the human eye for about one day before and after its full phase, Petro said.

For optimal moongazing, Petro recommends finding a space with a clear view of the sky—away from trees, buildings, and bright lights. While no equipment is needed to observe the moon, a pair of binoculars or a telescope can help enhance finer details, he said.

"When people look at the Moon, I hope they first take in that it’s the same Moon that their grandparents, great grandparents, and so on, have seen," Petro said. "For millennia humans have looked to the Moon, and it’s looked similar for all of human history."

Petro also noted two current NASA space operations involving the moon. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been orbiting the moon for over 14 years, is creating a 3D map of its surface. The Artemis II mission is aiming for a late 2024 launch to send four astronauts on a trip around the moon and back — the first attempt to fly humans near Earth’s closest neighbor since 1972.

More on the beaver moon

The beaver moon’s name is believed to be a nod to this full moon’s appearance when the industrious animal retires to its lodge in anticipation of winter. And when the North American fur trade thrived from the 1500s to the 1800s, November was also beaver trapping season due to the animal’s thicker coat this time of year, according to The Old Farmers’ Almanac.

The Tlingit have also called the full moon in November the "digging moon," because that's when the animals start getting ready for winter. According to the almanac, this lunar event is known by the Cree as the frost moon and by the Anishinaabe as the freezing moon because cold winter temperatures are approaching. During this time, Native American tribes would gather and prepare for the harsh winter ahead, relying on the beaver pelts for warmth and trade. The November full moon holds cultural significance for many indigenous communities, symbolizing the transition into a season of preparation and survival. (QuillBot)


Starting Sunday, the beaver moon will illuminate the night sky with its radiant glow. According to EarthSky, the moon will reach its fullest point at 4:16 a.m. ET on Monday. Dr. Noah Petro from NASA explains that while the beaver moon will resemble a typical full moon, each moon has its own unique characteristics. This is due to the slight movement of the moon, known as libration, which changes the angle at which we see its surface. Whether you are located north or south of the equator, you will have the opportunity to witness the beaver moon for approximately one day before and after its full phase. For the best viewing experience, Dr. Petro suggests finding a location with an unobstructed view of the sky, away from trees, buildings, and bright lights. While observing the moon does not require any equipment, using binoculars or a telescope can enhance the finer details. Dr. Petro hopes that when people gaze at the moon, they appreciate its timeless beauty that has been observed by generations before us. Additionally, he mentions two ongoing NASA missions related to the moon: the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is mapping the moon's surface, and the upcoming Artemis II mission, which aims to send astronauts on a journey around the moon. As for the origin of the beaver moon's name, it is believed to be a reference to the appearance of the full moon when beavers retreat to their lodges.


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Comments (2)

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  • Andrea Corwin 5 months ago

    Nice run down on the full moon - our Pacific NW skies usually don't allow for viewing the great astronomy events but we saw the Neowise comet a few years ago and I saw the almost full moon last Saturday at twilight - it was beautiful.

  • Test5 months ago

    Super!!! Excellent story!!!

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