Bird’s eye view of Breckenridge

Today’s story is the answer to the puzzle of May.

Looking down from space, the human presence is clearly evident in the way we light our cities, transport our manufactured goods, and grow our food. Even the way we play is visible hundreds of miles above.

On May 1, 2021, an astronaut aboard the International Space Station took this photo of Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado. Over 100 trails run through the east side of Tenmile Range, a part of the Southern Rocky Mountains located about 100 kilometers west-southwest of Denver. Part of the Copper Mountain station is also visible in the lower left corner.

Note that even in May the trails are still covered in white. This is typical of the Tenmile Range, which retains snow at higher elevations during the summer months. By mid-May, the water equivalent of snow – the depth of water in the snowpack if it was fully melted – was very close to the 1981-2010 average in the Breckenridge and Copper areas. Mountain. This is not the case everywhere, however, and the varied topography of the state can lead to very different amounts of snowfall.

The Tenmile Range is named for the distance traveled by 10 of the peaks in the range, each about a mile apart and named in numerical order. The slopes of five of these peaks – from peak 6 to peak 10 – are found in Breckenridge station. Peak 8 was the first to be developed and opened to skiers in December 1961. The Peak 8 ski area, as it was named at the time, consisted of 1,764 acres, a chairlift, and less than 10 trails. Since then, the Breckenridge Ski Resort has grown to nearly 3,000 skiable acres, 34 chairlifts and 191 trails.

More than 500 of these hectares open to skiers and snowboarders for the 2013-2014 winter season following the development of Peak 6, visible in the detailed view above. The additional tracks – which weren’t there yet when we last showed the area in 2008 – are visible where they cut through the forest. At higher elevations peak 6 trails include the region’s first bowl-shaped land above the tree line for intermediate skiers.

The US Forest Service had to deliberate carefully before decide to approve projects on peak 6. Land managers have had to weigh the public and economic benefits against the potential effects that forest clearance could have on lynx habitat, water resources and overall forest health. Breckenridge is not alone, like many other Colorado ski resorts currently looking to expand .

Astronaut photograph ISS065-E-13520 was acquired on May 1, 2021 with a Nikon D5 digital camera using an 1150 millimeter lens and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observation Service and the Earth Science Unit and remote sensing, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by a member of the Expedition 65 crew. The image has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed. the International Space Station Program supports the laboratory within the framework of ISS National Laboratory to help astronauts take photos of the Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make these images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at NASA / JSC Gateway to Earth Astronaut Photography. Kathryn Hansen story.

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