Skywatchers enjoy Beaver Moon, lunar eclipse


One of the last lunar events of 2020 is happening on Monday with a double dose for eager skywatchers, thanks to a beaver moon and lunar eclipse.

The full moon on Nov. 30 is known as a beaver moon because “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,” The Old Farmer’s Almanac says. “During the time of the fur trade in North America, it was also the season to trap beavers for their thick, winter-ready pelts.”

The full moon in November has a few other names, the Frost Moon and the Freezing Moon. This is due to the “chilly weather that becomes more and more common at this time of year,” the Almanac explained.

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The next full moon, known as the Cold Moon, will occur on Dec. 29 at 10:28 p.m. ET, the Farmer’s Almanac added.

In addition, there was also a lunar eclipse early Monday morning, which Space.com described as a “minor moon event.” The moon took 4 hours and 21 minutes to go across the outer part of Earth’s shadow.

The news outlet noted that penumbral lunar eclipses are “rather subtle events,” adding they are difficult for most people to spot “unless at least 70% of the moon’s diameter is immersed within it.” The eclipse started at 2:32 a.m. ET. 

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