The Full ‘Beaver Moon’ Makes A Festive Appearance On Thanksgiving Night

The 2018 Beaver Moon rises on Thanksgiving day, but won't be 100 percent full until shortly after midnight.

Artist's illustration of a green Beaver Moon on the dark blue sky.
Darkfoxelixir / Shutterstock

The 2018 Beaver Moon rises on Thanksgiving day, but won't be 100 percent full until shortly after midnight.

On Thanksgiving night, the sky joins in on the celebration with a festive celestial display that will make you want to stay awake long after Thanksgiving dinner. Traditionally known as the “Beaver Moon,” the full moon of November rises tomorrow and will light up the sky shortly after midnight.

The ‘Beaver Moon’ And Its Many Names

November’s full moon has been given many different names by the various Native American tribes who looked to the sky and to nature’s signs for guidance in tracking the seasons.

According to Time & Leisure magazine, the full moon of November has been called the “Hunter’s Moon,” the “Oak Moon,” and the “Frosty Moon” or the “Full Frost Moon.”

Meanwhile, the Ojibwe tribe dubbed November’s full moon the “Little Spirit Moon,” whereas the Tlingit people referred to it as the “Scraping Moon,” to mark the time when bears prepare their dens.

But perhaps the most well-known moniker — one that we still use today — is the “Full Beaver Moon,” announcing the time of the year when beaver traps are set “before the swamps freeze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs,” reports Space.

“Another interpretation suggests that the name ‘Full Beaver Moon’ comes from the fact that the beavers are now active in their preparation for winter.”

The 2017 'Beaver Moon' in the evening sky above the city of Albufeira in Algarve, Portugal.
The 2017 ‘Beaver Moon’ in the evening sky above the city of Albufeira in Algarve, Portugal. Kolforn / Wikimedia Commons/Resized (CC BY-SA 4.0)

When To Catch The ‘Beaver Moon’

The “Beaver Moon” will make its dazzling appearance on Thanksgiving day at 4:36 p.m. ET, just six minutes after sunset. The moonrise itself can treat sky watchers to a spectacular show, especially if you happen to catch the moon rising against the city line. This will make it seem larger and more imposing due to the “moon illusion” phenomenon, as the Inquisitr previously reported.

However, the moon won’t be 100 percent full until the early hours of Friday morning. For stargazers who manage to beat the turkey-induced drowsiness and stay up conversing long after dinner, the midnight can bring some of the most memorable views of the “Beaver Moon.”

“The full moon crests on Friday, November 23, at 12:39 a.m. EST, which means that you will see the full moon on Thursday night (November 22) in most time zones of North America,” states The Old Farmer’s Almanac. “This also means that the full moon occurs on Thanksgiving night!”

The ‘Beaver Moon’ And Aldebaran

The “Beaver Moon” will shine all night long, setting the next morning at 7 a.m. This makes tomorrow night a great opportunity for a moonlit stroll through the quiet streets.

If you do go out to enjoy some fresh air in the crisp autumn night, you stand a good chance of catching a glimpse of Mars and Saturn as well. The two planets will join the “Beaver Moon” in the western sky, reports Space, although they might be difficult to spot under the glare of the full moon.

The next day, the moon will catch up with Aldebaran, the 13th brightest star in the night sky. The moon and the star — which marks the eye of the bull in the Taurus constellation — will share the same celestial longitude around dusk, appearing together in the sky at 4:11 p.m. ET on November 23.