The full moon lighting up Alaska's evening sky these days is called the Beaver Moon – sometimes also known as the Frosty Moon or Hunter’s Moon.
Peaking Sunday, Nov. 17, the full moon joins the Leonid meteor shower as prime evening attractions for skywatchers in mid-November. The moon will appear most full on Saturday night.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac postulates that it is called Beaver Moon because this month was just the right moment to set beaver traps before the winter freeze. But according to National Geographic, it could also be attributed to the “heavy activity of beavers building their winter dams.”
With a bright moon shining all night -- especially in Southcentral Alaska's clear sky -- 2013 is expected to be a poor year for viewing the Leonid meteor shower, according to NASAs Jet Propulsion Lab, which expects meteors to be visible at a rate of about 15 per hour. The best viewing time is often just before dawn, but they move quick – an estimated 44 miles per second.