Like the Hunter’s Supermoon of October, the Beaver Supermoon receives its name from the old world practice of hunting and trapping animals for food.
In particular, the beaver was an important resource animal for pre-industrial society because of their thick, warm pelts. The full moon is named in honor of what the noble beaver has to offer.
It also coincides with a period of time in which beavers are preparing themselves for the winter, indicating that we humans need to be doing the same.
During this time, they reinforce their dams, stockpile food, and prepare to ride out the cold months ahead.
This year’s Beaver moon is actually a Supermoon. “Supermoon” isn’t exactly a scientific term, but more a visual description coined by Richard Nolle in 1979.
The scientific term is “perigree-syzygy,” meaning the moon is at its closest to the Earth during its monthly orbit.
2016’s Beaver Supermoon is unusual in that it will be the closest Supermoon ever recorded so far in this century. It won’t be this close again until the Beaver Supermoon of 2034.
This year’s Beaver Supermoon is only one of 3 taking place over fall and winter. Last month’s Hunter’s Supermoon dazzled lunar enthusiasts with orange, red hues.
Next month’s full moon, the Cold moon, will be a Supermoon as well. It also falls on the winter solstice, augmenting its energy.