Moonrise over Thunderstorms

Last evening, massive storms blossomed east of Denver, their thunderheads lit by the setting sun.  Rising 50,000 feet into the atmosphere, that turbulent wall was more than three times the height of the Front Range, to our west.

As if that scene was not spectacular enough, a full moon rose atop the thunderstorms at 8:30 PM, its tranquil disc gleaming through the clear skies west of the menacing swath.  Then, as dusk enveloped the region, lightening flashed within and beneath the storms, producing a fabulous light show for those of us in the Front Range urban corridor.

Highlighting nature's beauty and power, the event was also a reminder that one's perspective is governed by location and geometry.  Viewed from the moon, almost 239,000 miles above the Earth, last evening's storms would appear as a narrow band of sunlit clouds above the darkening plains of eastern Colorado, one of many thunderstorm complexes across the globe.  Yet, from our Littleton farm, the moon appeared to be an intimate player in that dramatic weather event, grazing the top of the storms as they pummeled the High Plains with hail and heavy rain.