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The Casual Observer - November's Beaver Moon


Earth’s moon is the largest planetary satellite relative to the size of its planet. Throughout its orbit it always shows the same face and this weekend it will shine down on us in one of its rare closest approach. The forecast indicates that this Saturday and Sunday will be sunny and clear, so hopefully viewing the Moon will be unimpeded at night.

The face of the Moon is arguably the most visual motif for countless subjects represented in the arts, literature and culture throughout all civilizations. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Algonquin tribes and American colonists called the November full moon the Beaver Moon because it was the time to “set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs." While it is true that the word lunatic is derived from the Latin name of the Moon, Luna, there is no causal relationship between the Moon and any individual person. So go outside and stand under the stars and enjoy the fullness of the moonlight, (Sunday night will best the best time).  

This Moon will be the closest, brightest and the largest since 1949. Check it out because you won’t see it again until November 25, 2034.

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Late nightsky offers great views

The higher the Moon is in the nightsky, and later, after 11pm, well into the morning hours, the Moon is at its closest. The early rising Moon lifts up from the horizon, which is farther away from your closest line of vision.

Sunday night is the best time, through about 8am on the 14th, although Friday and Saturday late night offers great views as well.

 
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The river flows only one way

I'll be out in a few minutes to see this nighttime wonder, and again tomorrow night when it will start on its orbital way, not to be seen this close again for another 70 years.

Strange, though, I feel a sadness, silliness even, thinking that I'll never seen it again. There's just too much water under my bridge and the river flows only one way.

 
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The tide is high

This moon is causing some very hight tides along the coat of New England today.

 

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