Sky watchers will enjoy a double enjoyment as November 2020 ends, with a partial lunar eclipse as the full “beaver moon” shines in the early morning sky.
The beaver moon – nicknamed because it’s the season when beavers build their winter dams to prepare for the cold winter – will reach its full stage on Monday, November 30, at 4:30 a.m. Eastern time. So it looks big and bright in the sky both on Sunday night and Tuesday night – assuming the clouds don’t obstruct the view.
(Unfortunately, a major rainstorm is expected to hit the New Jersey region on Monday and may last until early Tuesday.)
Partial lunar eclipse
As the moon becomes full early in the morning on Monday, a partial lunar eclipse occurs – called a penumbral solar eclipse. While it’s not as dramatic as a total lunar eclipse, experts say it could be seen by burners here in New Jersey and other parts of North America.
A semi-eclipse occurs when the moon slides through the outer shadow of the Earth or the penumbra and blocks some of the sun’s rays to shine on the moon during that time, astronomers at EarthSky.org say.
Monday morning, “the moon needs 4 hours and 21 minutes to glide across the pale outer edge of the Earth’s shadow (penumbra) and never reach the dark forehead of the shadow,” says Joe Rao, astronomical writer at Space.com.
“About 20 minutes before the deepest phase of the eclipse, you can see some evidence of this faint vaginal shade on the upper edge of the moon,” Rao notes. “This corresponds to EST 4:22; 3:22 CST; 2:22, MT and 1:22, PST. “
If this were a complete lunar eclipse instead of a partial one, the whole moon would darken for a short time and give a reddish-orange hue.
Otherwise, it’s completely safe to watch a lunar eclipse with binoculars, binoculars, or your own eyes. No special filters are required.
The origin of the nickname of the beaver moon
The nickname “beaver moon” is given to Algonquin native American tribes and American colonizers who nicknamed each full moon based on the weather conditions, farming routines, and hunting trends of the year.
Some publications, such as TimeAndDate.com, say the November moon “got its name from beavers who build their winter dams at this time of year”.
According to the Farmers ’Almanac, the nickname may come from beavers preparing for the November winter, but notes that it may have something to do with hunters. “This was the time when beaver traps had to be placed before the swamps froze to ensure the amount of warm winter fur,” the publication said.
Other nicknames for the full moon
Like other full moons throughout the year, the full moon in November has created a few different nicknames over time.
In addition to the popular “beaver moon” moniker, the full moon in November created the “hunter moon,” the “mourning moon,” the “reed moon,” and the “frost moon,” a reference to the increasingly cool weather this month.
The last full moon of 2020
If you don’t have a chance to see the full moon in November, you can look for the “full moon” in December.
This moon will officially reach its fullest phase on Tuesday, December 29, at 22:28 Eastern Time, so it will look big the night before (December 28) and the following two nights (December 30 and December 31).
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Len Melisurgo is available at: [email protected]. Tell us the story of the coronavirus or send us a tip here.