Beaver Moon 2019: When is the November Full Moon and what is the meaning behind its name?

The Beaver Moon is the 11th of this year’s 12 named Full Moon phases. The Beaver Moon traditionally arrives one month after October’s Hunter Moon and precedes the Cold Moon in December. The Full Moon also marks the halfway point of the lunar cycle from one New Moon to the next.

When is the November Full Beaver Moon?

Astronomers looking up at the skies tonight (November 11) might be fooled into the thinking the Moon is areal full.

But the Moon is still in its Waxing Gibbous phase and is only about 99 percent illuminated.

The Full Moon itself only lasts a fleeting moment but it marks the moment of full illumination by the Sun.

Viewed from Earth, the lunar orb appears to position itself head-on from the Sun with the Earth in the middle.

This month, the Full Moon will peak around 1.34pm GMT on Tuesday, November 12.

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What is the meaning behind the Beaver Moon’s name?

The Beaver Moon is just one of the 12 named Full Moons present this year.

The Beaver Moon owes its unusual name to the oral traditions of Native American tribes living on the US East Coast.

November’s Full Moon is also sometimes known as the Frost Moon or the Geese-going Moon.

These bizarre naming traditions helped different tribes keep track of the changing seasons.

Names such as the Strawberry Moon in May signalled the time was right to gather ripening wild strawberries.

November’s Full Moon was known as the Geese-going Moon, the Frost Moon

Amy Nieskens, Old Farmer’s Almanac

The Pink Moon in April was named after a type of pink ground flower sprouting around that time of the year.

Amy Nieskens of the Old Farmer’s Almanac guide said: “Centuries ago Native Americans kept track of the changing seasons by giving a distinct name to each Full Moon – names we still use today.

“November’s Full Moon was known as the Geese-going Moon, the Frost Moon and perhaps the most well known, the Full Beaver Moon.

“Traditionally this is the time of year that beavers are preparing for winter and also the time to set traps before the swamps froze, to ensure supplies of warm winter furs.”

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Why do we have different phases of the Moon?

As the Moon races around the Earth, different amounts of its Earth-facing side are lit by the Sun.

During a Full Moon, the side facing our planet directly is complexity illuminated.

But when the Moon finds itself on the other side of the planet, its backside is lit by the Sun and the Moon appears to vanish from our sky for one or two nights.

This is the New Moon phase of the lunar cycle, which lasts 29.5 days from one New Moon to the next.

At the same time, the Moon takes about 27.3 days to complete an orbit around the Earth.

What are all of the named Full Moons this year?

  • Wolf Moon – January 20
  • Snow Moon – February 19
  • Worm Moon – March 20
  • Pink Moon – April 19
  • Flower Moon – May 18
  • Strawberry Moon – June 16
  • Buck Moon – July 16
  • Sturgeon Moon – August 14
  • Harvest Moon – September 13
  • Hunter’s Moon – October 13
  • Beaver Moon – November 12
  • Cold Moon – December 11

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