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Routt County in photos: Dec. 29, 2012

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Tabor Scholl skis toward the finish line Saturday at the New Year's Relay at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center in Steamboat Springs. Scholl joined with her brother and father to win the 27th annual event. The day's longest event sent three skiers from each team on 7.2-kilometer loops. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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Wildfires, drought, low flows in the Yampa River and below-average snowfall were just a few of the issues that dominated the Routt County news cycle in 2012 and served as a reminder of how much Northwest Colorado depends on water. File photos

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Comet Hale-Bopp on March 16, 1997: The brightest comet that most people alive today can remember is Comet Hale-Bopp, which hung in our evening sky like a kite for several weeks in spring 1997. In 2013, two new comets might outperform Hale-Bopp — Comet PanSTARRS and Comet ISON. Comet ISON, in particular, has the potential to outshine Hale-Bopp by a factor of 4000, becoming one of the brightest comets seen from Earth in centuries. We’ll just have to wait and see. Jimmy Westlake / Courtesy

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Auroral storm over Yampa Buttes on Oct. 29, 2003: When the sun nears the peak of its 11-year activity cycle, a large flare or coronal mass ejection can trigger a spectacular display of the northern lights visible from as far south as Colorado, as it did Oct. 29, 2003. With the next solar maximum predicted for late 2013, increasing solar activity this year will improve our chances for seeing some vivid auroras.

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Moon meets Jupiter on Dec. 4, 2004: The moon and the dazzling planet Jupiter will cross paths several times in 2013, but the most spectacular meeting will occur Jan. 21. Even a pair of binoculars should reveal Jupiter’s two largest moons, Ganymede and Callisto, just off the moon’s shadowed horizon, as seen in this image from 2004. Jimmy Westlake / Courtesy

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Submitted by: Carolyn Culp

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Submitted by: Carolyn Culp

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Submitted by: Carolyn Culp

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Submitted by: Carolyn Culp

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Country artist Jack Ingram performs in Gondola Square during MusicFest in 2010. Ingram will play a free public show Jan. 6 on the Steamboat Stage with Ashley Ray opening to kick off this year's event. File photo

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A rat terrier has been here! Submitted by Candice May Martin.

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Steamboat architect Jan Kaminski, of Mountain Architecture Design Group, designed the front portion of the Horizons Specialized Services apartment building to resemble twin Old Town Steamboat bungalows. Mountain Architecture/courtesy

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This month’s sale of three luxury townhomes at Chadwick Estate Villas has helped that market segment at the base of the ski area turn a corner. Photo by Tom Ross

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