Sunset Saturday's Storm

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Saturday's Storm
 
Storm Cloud
A storm cloud rolls up Paradise Valley
Sunsets
Montana sunsets are often spectacular, always beautiful and difficult to overlook. Yesterday afternoon a small storm moved up Paradise Valley from the south. The sky turned dark as a thick grey cloud hung over my front yard. Low, rumbling thunder rolled across the valley and echoed off unseen peaks. A few lightening bolts cut through the gloom and then heavy, wet drops spattered against the dry ground. A few minutes later the sky started to clear and a stunning rainbow grew from the valley floor and soon arched over my house and into the heavens.
Sprouting Rainbow Growing Rainbow
A rainbow sprouts from the valley floor It rapidly grows and arcs into the heavens
 
 
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The beautiful rainbow was just the opening act for a breath taking sunset. As the thick grey cloud rolled to the north white puffy clouds followed from the south. The sun fell slowly in the west, gradually dipping behind the Gallitin mountains in my back yard. The sun's yellow rays gave the fading storm's clouds a fearful look, while gracefully lending the distant snow covered Absaroka peaks, gentle hues of pink and orange. The new shop
A menacing prelude to a powerful sunset
Not a forest fire Breathtaking Beauty
A fiery beginning The heavens explode with breath taking brilliance
Moonrise
Clouds of Jupiter?
As the sun dips further behind the western Gallitin mountains, the clouds over Paradise Valley turn brilliant shades of orange and red, like the tumultuous clouds that whirl endlessly around the distant planet Jupiter. The late afternoon storm clouds slowly break apart and gradually lose their fiery colors while the eastern sky darkens and another show begins.
Storm Fades Clearing Skies
Subdued brilliance from a setting sun The sky clears over Mount Emigrant
Not all sunsets are this awe inspiring but every Montana sunset is beautiful and difficult to ignore. I relaxed in a comfortable wicker chair on my deck while the sky darkened and the clouds dissipated. Gradually a planet appeared overhead and slowly brightened as the sun's rays grew dimmer. I brought my telescope on to the deck and was wonderfully surprised. The orange and red banded clouds of Jupiter were perfectly visible along with it's four largest moons; Io, Ganymede, Europa and Callisto. Galileo first discovered the moons orbiting Jupiter in 1610. He quickly realized that all heavenly bodies did not revolve around the earth as was commonly believed then. I do not have a camera attached to my telescope so I could not take photos. I found some on the web though that are similar to what I saw. They are posted aside and below. Moons of Jupiter
The moons of Jupiter
Jupiter
Banded clouds of Jupiter
Cowboy Tim
Wish you were here...
   
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