Full Moon 2020: When is the next Full Moon? Why is it called the Beaver Moon?

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The Full Moon’s glowing face marks the halfway point of the lunar cycle when the Moon finds itself directly across from the Sun. Because the Moon does not glow with light of its own, it relies on the Sun’s rays to light up at night. When sunlight falls directly on the Moon’s near side – the side always facing our planet – we call it a Full Moon.

The opposite of a Full Moon – a New Moon – occurs when the Sun’s rays fall on the Moon’s far side.

And between these two lunar phases, the Moon goes through a number of different stages.

These are in order: New Moon, Waxing Crescent Moon, First Quarter Moon, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Third Quarter, and Waning Crescent.

The Moon goes through this cycle from one New Moon to the next every 29.5 days, which explains why Full Moons don’t fall on the same date every month.

When is the next Full Moon?

The next Full Moon is the beautiful Beaver Moon, also known as the Cold Moon or Oak Moon.

The Moon is still in the Waxing Gibbous phase today (November 26) and is about 86 percent illuminated.

Full illumination will occur in the morning hours of Monday, November 30.

When viewed from London, for example, the Full Moon will peak at about 9.29am GMT.

And although peak illumination will only last for a moment, the Moon will appear full to the naked eye for three days centred on this date.

Lunar expert Gordon Johnston from NASA said: “The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from Saturday night through Tuesday morning.”

And you should definitely keep your eye out for this Full Moon because it will partially pass through Earth’s shadow.

About 83 percent of the Moon will pass through the weaker of Earth’s two shadows in what is known as a penumbral eclipse.

Click here to find out more about the upcoming lunar eclipse.

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Why is November’s Full Moon called the Beaver Moon?

There are between 12 and 13 Full Moons each year and they all carry unusual names.

November’s Full Moon traditionally goes under the name of Beaver Moon, Cold Moon, Oak Moon, Frost Moon or the Moon Before Yule.

Some of these names are linked to the time-keeping traditions of Native Americans who named the Moon’s full phases after seasonal changes in the landscape.

The April Pink Moon, for instance, is named after a type of pink flower that blossoms at time of the year.

The Beaver Moon is believed to be named after beavers taking shelter ahead of winter.

Amy Nieskens of the Old Farmer’s Almanac 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 actively preparing for winter, and also the time to set traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a warm supply of winter furs.”

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