Mark Your Calendars!, Beaver Moon Full, Nov 6

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nov full moon 2014

Mark your calendars! Some delightful celestial events providing spectacular views for the sky gazers are in store this month. This November, sky watchers can enjoy an array of astronomical events such as Leonid and Taurids meteor showers. Here is a guide to the sky events lighting up the November sky. Also find out which planets are easily visible during this month.

NOVEMBER: For both the colonists and the Algonquin tribes, this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. This full Moon was also called the Frost Moon.

Why Native Americans Named the Moons

The early Native Americans did not record time by using the months of the Julian or Gregorian calendar. Many tribes kept track of time by observing the seasons and lunar months, although there was much variability. For some tribes, the year contained 4 seasons and started at a certain season, such as spring or fall. Others counted 5 seasons to a year. Some tribes defined a year as 12 Moons, while others assigned it 13. Certain tribes that used the lunar calendar added an extra Moon every few years, to keep it in sync with the seasons.

Each tribe that did name the full Moons (and/or lunar months) had its own naming preferences. Some would use 12 names for the year while others might use 5, 6, or 7; also, certain names might change the next year. A full Moon name used by one tribe might differ from one used by another tribe for the same time period, or be the same name but represent a different time period. The name itself was often a description relating to a particular activity/event that usually occurred during that time in their location.

Colonial Americans adopted some of the Native American full Moon names and applied them to their own calendar system (primarily Julian, and later, Gregorian). Since the Gregorian calendar is the system that many in North America use today, that is how we have presented the list of Moon names, as a frame of reference. The Native American names have been listed by the month in the Gregorian calendar to which they are most closely associated.

Native American Full Moon Names and Their Meanings

The Full Moon Names we use in the Almanac come from the Algonquin tribes who lived in regions from New England to Lake Superior. They are the names the Colonial Americans adapted most. Note that each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred.

Full Moon: According to Sea and Sky’s Astronomy Calendar of Celestial Events for Calendar Year 2014, the full moon will occur on Nov. 6. November’s full moon is referred to as “Full Beaver Moon” or “Frosty Moon” by the American tribes. The event reaches its peak at 22:23 UTC when the moon will be positioned directly opposite Earth and the sun.

South Taurids Meteor Shower: On Nov. 5 and Nov. 6, the South Taurid Meteor shower will reach its peak. It is reportedly a minor meteor shower that produces not more than 10 meteors per hours. Usually, the astronomical event occurs from Sept. 7 to Dec. 8 and reaches its peak at this time of the year. However, according to Sea and Sky, due to the occurrence of full moon on the same day, sky gazers will not be able to enjoy the astronomical event fully. The Web site states that the best view of the meteor shower will be available “just after midnight.” It is suggested that enthusiasts take the opportunity to enjoy the meteor shower “from a dark location away from city lights.”

According to Yahoo UK, the event is also called “Halloween fireballs.” The online publication suggests that the best night to view the ongoing meteor shower is Nov. 12 as the sky will see “about four hours of dark and moonless skies.”

New Moon: On Nov. 22, New Moon will occur. According to, the event peaks at 12:32 UTC. Due to the lack of moon light, sky gazers will be able to easily observe other celestial bodies.

Leonid_MeteorLeonids Meteor Shower: Following the minor meteor shower, the November sky will host an average meteor shower peaking on Nov. 17 and 18.

According to the aforementioned astronomical events publication, this is a “unique” celestial event because it has a “cyclonic peak every 33 years where hundreds of meteors per hour can be seen.” The last occurrence was reportedly in 2001. It is suggested that the view can be enjoyed after midnight. reports that 2014’s November sky will host “grand conjunction” wherein six objects belonging to the solar system will come as close as spreading in an area less than 20 degrees wide. The sun, the moon, Saturn, Mercury, Ceres and Venus will be part of it. The event occurs on Nov. 22 and peaks at 7:32 a.m. EST.

As for the planets’ visibility, the site notes that sky gazers from Northern Hemisphere can easily spot Mercury in the morning sky for the most part of the first half of November. Jupiter can also be seen during the late evening hours in the constellation Leo. To view Uranus, sky watchers can look out for it in the Pisces in the evening skies.

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