This Sunday night (November 29, 2020) a big, beautiful full Moon—a “Beaver Moon”—will appear on the horizon in the eastern sky just after sunset.
That’s the moment to catch it, but for anyone interested, a subtle kind of lunar eclipse will occur in the early hours of Monday, November 30, 2020.
Only visible in North America, Australia and parts of Asia, the event will be of only slight interest to most observers, who will be able to see 83% of the full Moon drift into Earth’s shadow.
However, the event will leave the Moon in precisely the right place for the next New Moon to move in front of the Sun. The result will be a fabulous total eclipse of the Sun for those inside a narrow path through South America.
It will also be just the first of two successive “Beaver Moon Eclipses,” with a partial lunar eclipse set for November 19, 2021. That one will also cause a total solar eclipse.
Here’s everything you need to know about when to look for the “Beaver Moon” this weekend:
When to see the ‘Beaver Moon’ at moonrise
Although the “Beaver Moon” will be exactly full at 9:29 Universal Time on November 30, 2020 (04:29 EDT and 01:29 PDT), that’s not when to make a plan to observe it.
The best time to see and appreciate any full Moon is at moonrise or moonset—with moonrise by far the more convenient. Find out the exact time of moonrise where you are on Sunday, November 29, 2020, and make a plan to look to the eastern horizon about 10 minutes after that time (it takes a while for the Moon to rise up and become visible).
The “Beaver Moon” will rise orange, turning a pale yellow as it rises, before becoming bright, white and almost impossible to look at … until it’s eclipsed a few hours later! See below for exact timings for that rare moment.
When to see the ‘Beaver Moon Eclipse’
The key time to look at the full Moon in eclipse will be 09:42 Universal Time (UT), which is 04:42 EDT and 01:42 PDT on Monday, November 30. At that time 83% of the full Moon will be in Earth’s shadow.
Look above the western horizon from the east coast of North America, and high in the southwest from the west coast.
However, if you want to see the limb of the full Moon drift into, then out of, Earth’s shadow, then know that the entire event takes place from 07:32 UT through 11:53 UT on Monday, November 30, 2020. That’s 02:32 EDT through 06:53 EDT, and 23:32 PDT through 03:53 PDT.
You can watch it live here:
When to see the ‘Beaver Moon’ at moonset
If you’ve got up to watch the eclipse—particularly if you’re on the east coast of North America—then consider also watching the moonset. Find out the exact time of moonset where you are on Monday, November 30, 2020 and look to the western horizon. Like a moonrise in reverse, the Moon will turn orange as it nears the horizon.
When is the next full Moon?
The next full Moon will be the “Cold Moon,” “Long Nights Moon” or “Moon After Yule” at 03:30 UTC on December 30, 2020—the 13th and final full Moon of the year.
When is the next ‘Beaver Moon Eclipse?’
On November 19, 2021 there will be a “Half-Blood Beaver Moon Eclipse.” Let’s break that down. It’s going to be a full Moon of which about 50% moves into Earth’s central, darkest shadow in space—something this weekend’s full Moon won’t achieve. As a result about half of the Moon will turn reddish. So not quite a “Blood Moon,” though that full Moon will also set-up a beautiful total solar eclipse in Antarctica on December 4, 2021.
Disclaimer: I am the editor of WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.