Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Belt of Venus in the Iron Range

Lutsen, Lake Superior, MN (Aug 18, 2016)

One week ago we drove up all the way to the Minnesota shore of Lake Superior, to spend a couple of days bracing for the beginning of the new semester. After loading Kero and a few supplies in the car we headed to Lutsen, where we found a last minute vacancy in a "Sea Villas" resort on the lake shore.

Belt of Venus
The cabins were very nice, and also quite dog friendly, meaning that Kero got to enjoy the view and had a chance of barking his head off to the waves, when we explored the rocky beach just in front of the porch. The view was indeed nice: all the photos in this post were taken from the grass in front of the porch, just as the sun was setting, and the moon rising on the placid waters of the lake. Do you see the banded sky in all the photos of this post? The blue, then pink, then sunset-colored sky? It is called "belt of Venus", and it is seen in clear skies opposite to the direction of the setting sun. The pink color is due to the light of the sunset scattered back by the fine dust particles high in the Earth's atmosphere. The dark blue zone that separates the pink from the horizon is instead the shadow of Earth projecting in the sky. The red rocks on the shore are not of that color because of the sunset: they are really that red, due to the high content of iron in the mineral in the area. After all, this is part of the Minnesota Iron Range.

You can see some of the cabins in the panorama below. We stayed there two nights, in between two days of driving (Lutsen is a 7.5 hours drive from Ames), with the middle day spent hiking along the lake shore, and having a nice dinner in Gran Marais (but this are stories for the next posts).

Lutsen, Lake Superior, MN (Aug 18, 2016)

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