November’s Full Moon marks the midway point of this month’s lunar cycle and is the second to last Full Moon of the year. Tonight (November 20), the Moon is already just over 92 percent illuminated and full illumination will follow in just three days. This is because as the Moon orbits the Earth and the Sun every night, the sunlit side of the lunar orb faces the Earth at different angles. This week, the Full Moon will face the Earth and the Sun head-on, meaning it will be 100 percent illuminated.
When is the November Full Moon this week?
Here in the UK, the November Full Moon will peak early in the morning of Friday, November 23.
Odds are you will still be in bed when this happens but the good news is you will see it perfectly well throughout the night.
And on the nights just before and just after the Full Moon, the change in illumination will be too small to notice, giving you more time to see the spectacle of nature.
The Moon will peak everywhere around the globe at the same time, but depending on where you live you might not necessarily be able to see that happen.
November Full Moon: The Beaver Full Moon peaks on Friday, November 23
What time will the November Full Moon peak?
Stargazers in the UK are in luck because the Full Moon will peak around 5.39am GMT (UTC) – about two hours before it dips below the horizon at 7.19am GMT.
The Moon will then rise over the horizon again at 4.41pm GMT in the east-northeast skies.
In Mumbai for instance, the Moon will fully light up below the horizon around 11.09am IST.
Astronomy enthusiasts in India will have to wait until around 6.20pm IST for the glowing orb to reappear for the night.
Across the Pacific Ocean, in Los Angeles, the Full Moon is scheduled to peak on Thursday, November 22, at 9.39pm PTD.
On the other side of the United States, in New York, look out for the Full Moon from 12.39am EDT on Friday, while it is high in the night sky.
In other parts of the world, such as Egypt, the Full Moon will peak at 7.39am local time and in Japan the Moon peaks at 2.39pm local time.
Be sure to check your local moonrise and moonset times as well when the Full Moon peaks before you decide to go out and observe it.
November Full Moon: In the UK, the Full Moon will peak early in the morning
Why is the November Full Moon called the Beaver Moon?
The unusual name given to the November Moon is a moniker adopted from Native American Algonquin tribes and colonial Americans.
Native tribes in North America traditionally kept track of time by naming Full Moon phases after particular changes in the landscape and wildlife.
The Beaver Moon signalled it was time to lay animal traps in preparation for the long cold months of winter.
Amy Nieskens of the Old Farmer’s Almanac explained: “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 the supply of warm winter furs.”
This year, there are a total of 13 Full Moon phases – thanks to the second Blue Moon in January – and each has a unique name.
The next, and final Full Moon of the year, is the Full Cold Moon on December 22.
November Full Moon: Native American tribes named the Moon the Full Beaver Moon
What are all the Full Moon dates this year?
January 31 – Full Woolf Moon
March 31 – Full Worm Moon
April 29 – Full Pink Moon
May 29 – Full Flower Moon
June 28 – Full Strawberry Moon
July 27 – Full Buck Moon
August 26 – Full Sturgeon Moon
September 24 – Full Corn Moon
October 24 – Full Hunter’s Moon
November 23 – Full Beaver’s Moon
December 22 – Full Cold Moon