2021.11.19 Beaver Moon, November 2021
“The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.” G.K. Chesterton
Tonight I am posting about the beautiful full Beaver Moon, also known as the Frost Moon - and this afternoon I went up Slieve Donard to watch the moonrise. What a treat. It was a full orange beauty in the sky, reflected in Dundrum Bay; and then the darkening clouds made it kind of haunting and supernatural. You all know how much I love the moon so that was a really special experience.
The Beaver Moon is so named as beavers typically start building their winter dams in November. We don't have beavers in Northern Ireland apart from the two characters from Narnia who appear as sculptures in East Belfast.
This morning, the Beaver Moon coincided with a partial lunar eclipse, otherwise known as a Half Blood Moon, as part of the moon traveled through the Earth's full 'umbral' shadow for 3 hours, 28 minutes and 23 seconds. For some reason this makes me think of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
If I'm being totally honest, I don't fully understand these things but I've read that this was the longest partial lunar eclipse in centuries. There hasn’t been a longer one since February 18, 1440, (3h, 28m, 46s) and it will remain the longest partial lunar eclipse for 648 years until February 8, 2669 (3h, 30m, 2s). There will be a longer TOTAL lunar eclipse on November 8, 2022. There's a date for your diaries.
Here are a few wee bits of trivia about the moon.
The moon is 4.6 billion years old and was formed between 30-50 million years after the solar system.
It is smaller than Earth - about the same size as Pluto in fact.
Its surface area is less than the surface area of Asia - about 14.6 million square miles according to space.com
Gravity on the Moon is only 1/6 of that found on Earth.
The Moon is not round, but is egg-shaped with the large end pointed towards Earth.
It would take 135 days to drive by car to the Moon at 70 mph (or nine years to walk).
The Moon has "moonquakes" caused by the gravitational pull of Earth.
Experts believe the Moon has a molten core, just like Earth.
And to finish, here are some nice pictures of beavers.