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Moon emerging from Earth's shadow on Tuesday morning

Moon emerging from Earth's shadow
on Tuesday morning

Tuesday August 28th - Spectacular Eclipse Awes Viewers...

People who were up and outside early this morning were treated to a spectacular view of a total Lunar Eclipse leaving children and grown-ups alike in awe.

The event began just before 3AM as the Moon passed into the shadow of Earth, turning it to an eerie deep orange color. Clouds cleared away for the majority of the eclipse allowing area residents to watch the spectacle to unfold. The next opportunity to see a total eclipse in our area won't be for another seven years.

Area photographer Darrell E. Spangler captured some images of the Lunar Eclipse from his home on Storm Mountain. We have created a page for the photos which may be viewed via the link below:

Eclipse Photos From Storm Mountain

Many other amazing images of this morning's Lunar Eclipse from around the world can be seen in the Lunar Eclipse Gallery.

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2004 Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse of 2004

Monday August 27th - Total Lunar Eclipse...

In the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, area sky-watchers can watch the Moon turn an orangy-red in color as it passes completely into the Earth's shadow during a total lunar eclipse.

The Moon will begin entering the Earth's penumbra at approximately 2:51AM MDT. The shadow will slowly creep across the face of the Moon until 3:52AM, when the Moon will be completely eclipsed by the Earth. Totality will last for around 90 minutes. The Earth's shadow will the begin to recede at approximately 5:22AM, as the Moon is close to setting behind the mountains to the west at 6:33AM. Sunrise on Tuesday will be at 6:24AM MDT.

How will the August 28 eclipse of the moon look from here in Colorado? The first frame begins at 2:51am MDT with the last ending at 6:23am. On August 28, the Moon sets at 6:33am and the Sun rises at 6:24am; so, how much of the final stage of the partial eclipse of the Moon will you be able to see with twilight interfering?     Image & Info courtesy of Shadow and Substance

Wake up! This is really going to happen, and some planning is necessary. Set your alarm an hour or so in advance to gather snacks and dress comfortably. (Even in August, four o'clock in the morning can be chilly.) Waking up early also allows you to catch some of the partial eclipse before totality.

More information and best viewing times for your specific area can be found by visiting the NASA website via the link provided below.

Dreamy Lunar Eclipse

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Rocky Mountain Bee Plant (Cleome serrulata)

Rocky Mountain Bee Plant
(Cleome serrulata)

Sunday August 26th - Photo Of The Week...

Taken near the Cherokee Draw entrance to Lake Estes, this weeks photo features another of Colorado's colorful summer wildflowers, Rocky Mountain Bee Plant.

Sometimes called Spiderflower or Stinking Clover, Rocky Mountain Bee Plant (Cleome serrulata), is native to western North America from southern British Columbia, east to Minnesota and Illinois, and south to New Mexico and northernmost California. It is also naturalized further east in North America.

Rocky Mountain Bee Plant is an annual plant growing to 60 inches tall, with spirally arranged leaves. The leaves are trifoliate, with three slender leaflets each 1-3 inches long. The flowers are reddish-purple, pink, or white, with four petals and six long stamens. The fruit is a capsule 1 to 2 inches long containing several seeds.

It is used in the southwestern U.S. as a food, medicine, or dye. It is called waa’ in the Navajo language. Its scientific description was based on specimens collected on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Look for Rocky Mountain Beeplant in early July on native prairie in light or sandy soils. This plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental. Many Cleomes in the Tropics are used as foods, medicines, and dyes.

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