Zodiacal Light and Milky Way from the Southern Hemisphere

December 28, 2013

Namibia_sky_tivolifarm_rid (2)

Photographer: Samuele Gasparini; Samuele's Web site
Summary Authors: Samuele Gasparini; Jim Foster

The photo above features the Zodiacal Light (lower right), brilliant Venus (bottom right) and the Milky Way (left) as viewed from the Tivoli Farm observing site in Namibia. It's easier to see the soft glow of this wedged-shaped light, shown here extending up from Venus, from a darkened location in the tropics or lower mid latitudes since it'll appear more upright, especially around the time of the equinox. Look about 90 minutes before sunrise or after sunset. The zodiacal light results from the forward scattering of sunlight by myriad dust particles orbiting the Sun in the inner solar system. Note that the very dim smudge at bottom left is the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The "eyes" peering through the jungle in the background (lower right) are the lights of Tivoli Farm's apartments. Photo taken on July 3, 2013.

Photo details: Canon 650d modified Baader camera; 14 mm Samyang lens; 20 second exposure; 1600 ISO.