When the November 2021 full moon is and what time the lunar eclipse will peak
November’s full moon arrives this week, with Brits hoping that autumn can relent briefly to grant us a clear night to view the orb.
The full moon has been shrouded in folklore and mystique for millennia, inspiring everything from religious festivals to horror films and outlandish doomsday conspiracy theories.
In recent years, it has also led to moon names infiltrating pop culture, with this month’s full moon dubbed the “beaver moon” by some – here’s everything you need to know.
When is the November 2021 full moon?
The next full moon falls on Friday 19 November, according to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.
However, it peaks at 8.57am, so it will be most visibile in the very early hours of Friday morning and and Thursday night.
This month’s full moon coincides with a lunar eclipse (also known as a “blood moon”), albeit only very briefly for people in the UK.
A penumbral eclipse will begin at 6.02am, when the moon will begin to dim, before the partial eclipse starts at 7.18am on Friday. This reaches its maximum point above London at 7.20am.
However, the sunrise will cut the spectacle short a few minutes later, with British stargazers missing out on the eclipse’s peak.
This will come at around 9.02am in the UK, with the penumbral eclipse lasting until 12.03pm, meaning it will be more clearly visible for people in the USA.
Although we tend to think of there being a full moon each month, the lunar cycle actually lasts just over 29.5 days, which means there is sometimes more than one (commonly known as a “blue moon”).
This also means that the full moon tends to fall slightly earlier each month, with the full lunar timetable for 2021 as follows:
Why did names like ‘Beaver Moon’ become a thing?
November’s full moon has come to be known as the “Beaver Moon” in some quarters, as per the American Farmer’s Almanac, which has apparently been designated the gold standard for such matters.
According to the publication: “Beavers can be seen along the banks of rivers and streams, collecting wood to shore up their lodges and dams before the ice sets in.
“This was also the time Native American tribes and later European settlers set beaver traps to ensure a supply of warm furs for winter.
“Thus November’s full moon is most commonly known as the Beaver Moon, in honor of these industrious semi-aquatic rodents.”
These moon names, and their purported meanings, have gained increased traction in recent years, with the labels generally attributed to Native American tribes.
They appear to have become more popular after the 2014 lunar eclipse – a phenomenon colloquially referred to a “blood moon,” due to it causing the moon to have a reddish hue – ignited interest in such romanticised names.
There is no standardised Native American calendar, according to Laura Redish, director and cofounder of Native Languages of the Americas, although Nasa says the names derive from the Algonquin tribe, part of a larger cultural linguistic group called Algonquian.
Some of the popularly used names, such as the “strawberry moon” and “harvest moon”, do seem to be Algonquin, according to a list published by Algonquin Nation Tribal Council in 2005.
Others, such as the “wolf moon,” aren’t – the tribe apparently referred to January as “long moon month”.
According to Ms Redish, different tribes used different calendars, and a range of calendars seem to have been swiped for the popularly used names, while some of the popular monikers are essentially fabrications.
The Farmer’s Almanac says its names “come from a number of places, including Native American, Colonial American and European sources”.