CELESTIAL OBJECTS COME AND GO FROM THE NIGHT SKY. Whether it be the Full Moon, a meteor shower, or just the best night to see Mars, we're here to direct your eyes skyward and tell you to look up and appreciate the wonders of space from Earth.
This week, we're asking you to marvel at the Beaver Full Moon as it appears opposite of the Sun, shining at its brightest in the night sky.
This month's Full Moon rises on Monday, November 30 at 4:30 am EST.
November's Full Moon is supposedly called the Beaver Moon because it falls around the same time of year when beavers begin to take shelter in their lodges and hibernate for the winter ahead by storing lots of food.
It is also known as the Frost or Freezing Moon for the chilly temperatures that set in during this month.
The Moon takes approximately 27 days to complete an orbit around the Earth. During that time, the Moon embarks on eight different phases.
At the beginning of its cycle, the Moon is on the same side of the Earth as the Sun, with its dark side facing our planet. As a result, it is almost invisible to us. Then, a small sliver of the Moon’s crescent gradually appears in our skies as it waxes to become a Full Moon at the peak of its cycle. After that, it begins to wane into invisibility once more, before beginning anew, 29 and a half days after the preceding New Moon.
Each of these phases is marked by changes in the Moon's visibility, brightness and how it appears in size.
A Full Moon takes place when the Earth is wedged between the Sun and the Moon at exactly opposite ends with the side of the Moon facing the Earth becoming fully illuminated by the Sun’s beaming light.
This month's Full Moon also happens to be a penumbral lunar eclipse, where the Earth cast its shadow on the Moon. This type of lunar eclipse is not as obvious as a regular lunar eclipse, as only the outer shadow of our planet falls on the Moon, appearing as a slight shading on the lunar surface.
The next Full Moon will fall on December 29 and is known as the Full Cold Moon (for obvious reasons).