How to admire the night skies during November: Kids Corner for the week of 11/16/20
Editor’s note: The Vail Daily’s weekly kids section is chock full of activities and fun to keep the young and the young at heart entertained during the pandemic. If you have an idea for the section or would like to get involved, email Entertainment Editor Casey Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November Night Skies
The first week in November, we turned our clocks back one hour, which means darkness comes earlier to the evening skies. Use this opportunity to view spectacular stars and planets for an evening activity. By 7 or 8 p.m. some nights, the sky could provide more entertainment than social media or television. There is no need for advanced equipment to enjoy. Usually, you don’t even need a telescope to spot spectacular stars.
This November, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter will appear overhead promptly at dusk, or as the sun sets and the skies turn dark. The three planets are very bright, and easy to spot. There are many books, maps and even phone applications that help you locate and identify planets and constellations. During November’s early morning skies, Mercury and Venus can be spotted.
What about the stars? They’re always there. On clear nights, between hopeful snowstorms, much activity occurs. Monday night will be very exciting. This will be the peak of the Leonids Meteor Shower. This is a yearly meteor shower, where at times, 50,000 meteors can fall an hour. These storms result in some of the most intense meteor storms in history.
Meteors are pieces of space rock that enter earth’s atmosphere. Upon doing so, the drag of the air on the rock becomes extremely hot as it zips through the atmosphere. Here on earth, we see what looks to be a shooting star when a meteor enters our view.
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What is a meteor shower?
When Earth encounters many meteoroids at once, we call it a meteor shower.
Which planet appears brightest?
In their outward order from the sun, the five bright planets are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
Outside Scoop is submitted by freelance journalist Julie Bielenberg. Contact her at email@example.com.
Learn about Eagle County history each week.
A few miles west of Wolcott, the mountain geography of the Eagle River Valley suddenly narrows, with tall red sandstone cliffs on either side of I-70. This beautiful, rugged country is known as Red Point. Sharp-eyed travelers driving west will note a piece of black metal machinery tucked onto the edge of a tall cliff. This relic dates back to the 1880s, when a colorful pioneer named Rupert Sherwood operated a sandstone mine at the site.
Sherwood was an adventurous prospector from the Fairplay area. He was fascinated with silver and gold mining and developed many mines near Fairplay.
In 1883, Sherwood decided to establish a cattle ranch in Eagle County, homesteading land at Red Point. The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad laid down tracks through the valley in 1887, passing at the base of Sherwood’s property. Sherwood recognized the potential for a different type of mining in those red cliffs. Sandstone was a popular building material for large structures in cities. Big blocks of stone could be cut from the cliffs and could be easily shipped by railroad to cities where craftsmen would chisel the rock into building material.
Soon, there was a bustling quarry operation at the Sherwood homestead. Sherwood built several cabins on the property, as well as a sawmill, a bridge and a saloon. The railroad established a special siding at Sherwood. The chunks of red sandstone were shipped to Denver, and as far east as Chicago. The Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver was built with blocks from the Sherwood quarry.
The quarry was still operating in 1899, when it was mentioned in a promotional pamphlet for Eagle County. Then the sandstone mining suddenly stopped. The cause may have been a smallpox outbreak, that prompted the quarry workers to flee. The market demand for sandstone building materials may have also ended.
Rupert Sherwood sold the property in 1905, and returned to mining in Fairplay. The equipment on the cliff west of Wolcott stands as proof of his adventures in Eagle County.
Time Travel is researched and written by Kathy Heicher, president of the Eagle County Historical Society. Learn more about ECHS at eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com.
Word of the Week
Learn new words in English and Spanish each week.
the planets / los planetas
Riddle me this
Test your wits and smarts with these riddles.
Click or hover over the black boxes to reveal the answer.
Riddle: What type of songs do the planets sing?
Riddle: What kind of plates do they use in space?
Riddle: How do you get a baby astronaut to sleep?
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