The Beaver Moon reaches peak illumination in the early morning hours of Friday, November 19, at 3:59 a.m. Of course, it will be very close to full tonight, so plan to look for it starting just after sunset! Although rain in our area may ruin viewing for us tonight.
See a Near-Total Lunar Eclipse
This year, November’s Beaver Moon is accompanied by a partial lunar eclipse that will be just shy of total—98% of the Moon will be covered by Earth’s shadow at the height of the eclipse!
During a lunar eclipse, the Moon, Sun, and Earth stand in a line with the Earth in the middle, causing the planet’s shadow to be cast onto the Moon. This gives the full Moon a reddish, coppery hue, as well as the nickname “Blood Moon.”
But is this Moon truly a Blood Moon? Read more about what a Blood Moon is—and isn’t. Be sure to share this with your children.
This near-total lunar eclipse will be visible from most of North America, reaching its maximum at approximately 4:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Friday, November 19.
Why Is It Called The Beaver Moon?
For decades, the Almanac has referenced the monthly full Moons with names tied to early Native American, Colonial American, and European folklore. Traditionally, each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred and through all of the Moon’s phases—not only the full Moon.
The Beaver Moon
Why the “Beaver” Moon? This is the time of year when beavers begin to take shelter in their lodges, having laid up sufficient stores of food for the long winter ahead. During the time of the fur trade in North America, it was also the season to trap beavers for their thick, winter-ready pelts.
Alternative November Moon Names
November’s Moon names highlight the actions of animals preparing for winter and the onset of the colder days ahead. Digging (or Scratching) Moon, a Tlingit name, evokes the image of animals foraging for fallen nuts and shoots of green foliage, and of bears digging their winter dens. The Dakota and Lakota term Deer Rutting Moon refers to the time when deer are seeking out mates and the Algonquin Whitefish Moon describes the spawning time for this fish.
In reference to the seasonal change of November, this Moon has been called the Frost Moon by the Cree and Assiniboine peoples and the Freezing Moon by the Anishinaabe—for good reason, as winter is right around the corner!