The next full moon of 2019 — nicknamed the “beaver moon” — will reach its peak Tuesday morning, Nov. 12. It is the second to last full moon on the 2019 lunar calendar and it happens to arrive when the annual Taurid meteor shower will be at its best.
Although the bright light of the full moon will make it difficult for sky watchers to see the shooting stars of this normally impressive meteor shower, all hope isn’t lost, according to astronomy experts from Space.com.
“The full moon is so bright that it tends to wash out fainter objects, even from dark-sky locations. That said, on the night of the full moon the Taurid meteor shower will be in one of its periods of peak activity, and it’s possible to catch a few meteors here and there,” Space.com says.
The Taurid meteor shower typically produces five to 10 shooting stars each hour in early November, “but they tend to move slowly, and produce more bright fireballs,” Space.com notes.
The November beaver moon will officially reach its fullest phase at 8:34 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, so it will look big and bright in the sky Monday night, Tuesday night and Wednesday night — assuming the clouds don’t block your view.
The moon will rise in the eastern sky at 4:36 p.m. Monday in the New York City region, just as the sun will be setting on the other side of the sky, then 5:06 p.m. on Tuesday and 5:41 p.m. on Wednesday.
Why this moon is called the beaver moon
The origin of the nickname “beaver moon” comes from Algonquin Native American tribes and American colonists, who gave nicknames to each full moon based on weather conditions, farming routines and hunting trends at that time of the year.
“This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs,” says the Farmers’ Almanac. “Another interpretation suggests that the name full beaver moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter.”
Other nicknames for the full November moon
Just like most full moons, the November full moon has generated a few different nicknames over time.
In addition to the “beaver moon,” the November full moon also has been coined the “hunter moon,” the “mourning moon,” the “reed moon” and the “frost moon” — a reference to the cold weather setting in during this month.
The final full moon of 2019
If you don’t get a chance to see the November full moon, you can look for next month’s full “cold moon” on Dec. 11, Dec. 12 or Dec. 13. That moon will be officially at its fullest phase at 12:14 a.m. Eastern time on Dec. 12, so it will look big the night before and the next two nights.