The next full moon is November’s Beaver Moon, and it officially occurs early in the morning on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 6:02 a.m. ET. This full moon is special because it’s also a total lunar eclipse or blood moon.
This is the second lunar eclipse of the year — the last one happened in May — and there won’t be another total lunar eclipse until March 14, 2025.
On top of the exciting views of the moon, night sky watchers also have the opportunity to see the Taurid and Leonid meteor showers later this month.
How To See The Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse?
The best views of the lunar eclipse in the United States will be in the West.
That’s because the lunar eclipse is taking place early in the morning hours and the very end of the lunar eclipse will be spoiled by sunrise in the eastern two-thirds of the country.
|Penumbral eclipse begins||3:02 a.m.||2:02 a.m.||1:02 a.m.||12:02 a.m.|
|Partial eclipse begins||4:09 a.m.||3:09 a.m.||2:09 a.m.||1:09 a.m.|
|Total eclipse begins||5:16 a.m.||4:16 a.m.||3:16 a.m.||2:16 a.m.|
|Peak eclipse||5:59 a.m.||4:59 a.m.||3:59 a.m.||2:59 a.m.|
|Total eclipse ends||6:41 a.m.||5:41 a.m.||4:41 a.m.||3:41 a.m.|
|Partial eclipse ends||—-||—-||5:49 a.m.||4:49 a.m.|
|Penumbral eclipse ends||—-||—-||6:56 a.m.||5:56 a.m.|
The eclipse officially begins just after midnight on the West Coast at 12:02 a.m. PT, but most people will only notice a slight shadow beginning to creep across the moon.
For the next couple of hours, the Earth’s outer shadow will dim the brightness of the moon only slightly. By 2:16 a.m. PT, the total eclipse begins to take hold, and watchers will see the entirety of the Earth’s shadow on the moon.
As the eclipse wears on, the moon will begin to take on an orange-reddish hue, which is where a lunar eclipse gets the name, “blood moon.”
Maximum eclipse, or the peak of the event, happens at 2:59 a.m. PT, and from this point on, the eclipse begins to wane as the moon moves away from Earth’s shadow.
The eclipse officially ends at 5:56 a.m. PT, just under six hours after it begins.
Here’s a post from NASA’s official Twitter account about the moon showing a visual representation of the event:
On November 8, 2022, the Moon will pass into Earth’s shadow and turn red. This will be the last total lunar eclipse for about 3 years, so be sure to check it out if it’s visible in your area.
— NASA Moon (@NASAMoon) October 27, 2022
Why Is A Lunar Eclipse Called A Blood Moon?
Lunar eclipses are sometimes called blood moons because of the orange-reddish colors they produce. This happens because of how light from the sun travels through space and how it interacts with the Earth’s atmosphere.
A total lunar eclipse only occurs when the sun, Earth and moon are perfectly aligned. The Earth blocks the sun’s direct light from hitting the surface of the moon, but the moon doesn’t fall into complete darkness.
Some light rays from the sun are bent around the edge of the Earth and reach the moon’s surface. The bent light rays pass through Earth’s atmosphere, and while the blue and green light rays get scattered, the orange and red colors reach our eyes.
The same thing happens during sunrises and sunsets, but during an eclipse, the colors are projected onto the moon.
Why Is November’s Moon Called The Beaver Moon?
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, each moon derives its name from early Native American, Colonial American and European folklore.
The Beaver Moon received its name because this is the time of year when beavers begin to take shelter in their lodges after storing up enough food for the winter ahead. Additionally, when North American fur trading was at its peak, this time of year marked when trappers began to lay beaver traps, so they could cash in on the pricey pelts.
The November full moon has also been called the Frost Moon and the Freezing Moon, both signs the growing season has ended and colder winter months are ahead.