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Gegenschein over Oklahoma

By: Doug Zubenel

 

Region: Americas

Site: Oklahoma - USA

Date: 2001 October 21

Framed by the Milky Way and airglow, the Gegenschein subtle sentinel of the midnight meridian floats like a vapor above the 2001 Okie-Tex Star Party in Cimarron County, Oklahoma. a rarely discernable faint glow known as the gegenschein (German for "counter glow") can be seen 180 degrees around from the Sun in an extremely dark sky. The gegenschein is sunlight back-scattered off small interplanetary dust particles. These dust particles are millimeter sized splinters from asteroids and orbit in the ecliptic plane of the planets. The gegenschein is distinguished from zodiacal light near the Sun by the high angle of reflection. During the day, a phenomenon similar to the gegenschein called the glory can be seen in reflecting air or clouds opposite the Sun from an airplane. Doug Zubenel.

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