In the Night Sky: Full Beaver Blood Moon
November 7, 2022
Full Beaver Blood Moon: Name Explained
What's in a name? This month's full Moon is referred to as the Full Beaver Moon, Blood Moon, or Full Beaver Blood Moon. The expression "Blood Moon" refers to the orangish tint of light on the Moon during the upcoming total lunar eclipse. If conditions are clear, totality will be visible in the western sky from 4:16 a.m. to 5:41 a.m. CST, with significant darkening beginning at 3:09 a.m. CST. The name Beaver Moon may refer to how the big rodents are famously busy this time of year, prepping for winter.
What makes that orange light on the Moon during the eclipse?
The interaction of light with the Earth’s atmosphere makes the light that appears on the surface of the Moon during an eclipse seem orange. During a total lunar eclipse, the light that has passed through Earth’s atmosphere will be the only light reaching the surface of the Moon. The more dust or clouds in Earth's atmosphere, the redder, the Moon will look.
There’s more than one reason why this month’s Moon is called Beaver Moon
The name "Beaver Moon," according to the NASA Science Solar System Exploration site, dates back to almanacs written in the early 20th century that recorded what the writers believed were “Indian names” for each month’s Moon.
"For the Beaver Moon, one interpretation is that mid-Fall was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps freeze to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Beaver Moon came from how active the beavers are in this season as they prepare for winter."
Learn about names for this month's full Moon used around the world.