Area Excursions

Back to Area Excursions

Beaver Moon with a Penumbral Eclipse

On November 29th, 2020, the Beaver Moon will be full in the cold night sky. Not only is this month’s Moon the Beaver Moon, but it is also a Penumbral Full Moon. Why is this Moon named after the beaver, and what is Penumbral Eclipse? Well, let’s find out together.

Why is it called the Beaver Moon?

The Beaver Moon is the November full moon. During this time of year, beavers have a nice thick pelt or coat and build their dams for the winter. Since their pelts are so thick, this is when trappers used to catch them for their coats. Although falling out of fashion hundreds of years ago, the name still sticks. Since beavers are native to North America, the name Beaver Moon most likely came from the Algonquin tribe, and copied by the early European colonists. 

Why is it a Penumbral Eclipse Full Moon?

A Penumbral Eclipse is a Full Moon with a partial shadow of the Earth cast onto it. This eclipse is when the Earth is between the Sun and the Moon. This Beaver Moon should look darker than a regular full moon since the Earth’s shadow could cover up to 83% of the Moon’s surface. Watching this rare Beaver Moon Penumbral Eclipse will be a special treat for those who are excited for the new year to come about.