Vernal Zodiacal Light

May 08, 2007


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

The above photo sequence shows the zodiacal light, an inconspicuous conical shaped glow along the plane of the ecliptic, as observed over Bretagne, France. Photo taken on March 7, 2007. This faint sky glow can only be detected from dark locations when the Moon's not visible. The Zodiacal light is best seen before sunrise, after the autumn equinox, and after sunset, before spring equinox. It's believed to be sunlight reflecting off of interplanetary dust and meteoric particles. See also the Earth Science Picture of the Day for November 20, 2006.

Photo details: Canon 350D and 30D + Sigma 10-20, at 10 mm, f/4.0 ,on a tripod, 60 seconds, at 1600 ASA, and processed with DxO Optics.

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