Beaver Moon 2020: Here’s the m

People stroll down Berlin’s Unter den Linden boulevard, under trees illuminated for the holiday season, under a full moon, on November 29, 2020. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP)

Beaver Moon 2020: Here’s the meaning behind November’s full moon

November’s full Beaver Moon will shine bright on Monday 30 November in the constellation Aries.

Beaver Moon 2020: Here’s the m

People stroll down Berlin’s Unter den Linden boulevard, under trees illuminated for the holiday season, under a full moon, on November 29, 2020. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP)

It’s that time of the month again, moon lovers; it’s full moon time. The Full Beaver’s Moon – which always follows October’s Hunter’s Moon – will shine bright and light up the night sky tonight.

In fact, October had two full moons: The Harvest Moon on 1 October 2020, and the Hunters Moon, which coincided with Halloween on 31 October and was also a rare micro Blue Moon.

The “peak” for this year’s full moon took place during daylight hours. That said, the moon will still appear full tonight. Seeing it a few hours after its peak hardly makes any difference to the untrained human eye.

In fact, you don’t even have to worry if you miss it tonight. The full Beaver moon is usually visible for around three days.

Full moon in November: What you need to know

Why is it called Beaver Moon?

The names of full moons are derived from the 1930s Maine Farmers Almanac. It uses Native American names each for month’s full moon. The name was derived from both colonists and Algonquin-speaking tribes.

The Beaver’s Moon – also known as the Frost moon or Geese-Going Moon – refers to the time of the year when beavers prepare for the winter, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.

According to some sources, the Beaver Moon for November is named after beavers because this is the time they become particularly active building their winter dams in preparation for the cold season.

The significance of the full beaver moon

It was during the time of the Beaver full moon, the early days of November, when farmers set beaver traps before the swamps frozen over, to ensure a supply of warm beaver furs before winter starts.

Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon.”

 Farmer’s Almanac

According to NASA, the full Moon (purnima) in the month of Kartik, this full Moon (Kartik Purnima) is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs, for various different reasons.

In Laos, this full Moon corresponds with the Boun That Luang Festival; a three-day celebration of the oldest and most highly acclaimed of the Buddhist temples in Laos, Pha That Luang, located in the capital city, Vientiane.

A penumbral lunar eclipse

Tonight’s full moon is special because a full penumbral eclipse will be visible in other parts of the of the world tonight. Unfortunately, we won’t get to see any of that, and will have to wait until May 2022 for the next eclipse.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes exactly behind the Earth and into its shadow. It happens when the Earth, Moon and Sun are very closely aligned.

A total penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon becomes “completely immersed in the penumbral cone of the Earth without touching the umbra”. In other words, the Moon passes through the very narrow penumbra, or outer shadow.

The eclipse that coincides with the Beaver full moon will be visible to those in North and South America, Australia and parts of Asia. Even then, NASA advised it’s best to be viewed through a telescope.

About 85% of the moon will turn a shade darker during the peak or middle phase of the eclipse. While this type of shading effect of the moon is visible, it’s not really anythingt to write home about.

When is the Full Beaver moon?

This month, the moment when the Harvest Moon is exactly 180 degrees opposite the Sun in ecliptic longitude falls on Monday, 30 November 2020, at 11:29 South African Standard Time (SAST).

Yes, we realise that it’s during daylight hours; but you’ll be able to see the full effect of the full moon until sunrise the following morning, which for 1 December should be around 5:08.

When is the next full month?

You’ll only have to wait another month. The next full moon will appear on 29 December. It is known as the Full Cold Moon; named after the winter cold that grips the northern hemisphere during this time of the year.

It is also called the Long Nights Moon because it coincides with the winter solstice.

December is the month when winter truly begins in most of the Northern Hemisphere. Most of the ancient Full Moon names are related to the low temperatures and darkness of December. The most common name is the Cold Moon, while another is Long Night Moon.