October 8, 2008 #048 - Vacation Odyssey Episode 3

The night sky is great but other wonders pulled our eyes to the west. The Rockies are a wonder and to top it off snow fell in the high country. We took several trips to Rocky Mountain National Park, culminating in a drive to the alpine level above two miles.

One evening as we returned from the mountains their was a spectacular meteor fall just at dusk. We were traveling south about 40 miles north of Denver. A slow, brilliant green meteor trail began forming about 35 degrees above the city and appeared from our perspective to travel almost vertically down to burn out at about 5 degrees above the south horizon. I can only imagine what a show this would have been in dark skies away from the the city lights and an almost full moon.

On the subject of the moon, we were treated to amazing moon rises for almost a week. Coming off the mountains with the city lights stretching to the northern, eastern, and southern horizon the moon would rise, perfectly clear over the earths edge and looking larger than life. No haze was visible, and the lunar features were clear and distinct as it climbed above the earths limb. I have only observed this in the north country where the pristine orb rises out of Lake Superior, never over a fully illuminated city.

Clear Sky - Rich

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