Zodiacal Light from Bretagne, France

November 20, 2006


Provided and copyright by: Laurent Laveder, Optics of the Atmosphere Gallery
Summary authors & editors: Laurent Laveder

On the morning of September 26, 2006, I woke up early (around 5:00 a.m local time) in order to try to photograph the zodiacal light. This is the heavenly, triangular glow along the ecliptic that can be observed just before morning twilight (in the eastern sky) or just after evening twilight (in the western sky). I drove to the top of a small mountain so as to be sure I'd be above the fog. On the photo above, you can see the zodiacal light extending upward over an orange horizon in Monts d'Arrée, Bretagne, France. Zodiacal light is thought to be caused by sunlight reflecting off of interplanetary dust and meteoric particles.

The constellation of Leo the Lion is visible just above the horizon, and Jupiter is the bright "star" at lower center. The Beehives cluster (M44) is the faint blur at the center of the photo, and the constellation of Gemini the Twins is at the upper center. Procyon, the brightest star in Canis Minor, is at right center.

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