Zodiacal Light above Himalayan Hills

By: Babak A. Tafreshi


Region: Asia

Site: Uttarakhand - India

Date: October 2008

Above the northern India hills of Himalaya, a meteor flashes in the starry sky. The Milky Way with the prominent winter constellations and the cone shape glow of the zodiacal light appear in the eastern horizon before the true dawn (morning light). Made by the sunlight reflection from dust particles in solar system plane, the zodiacal light is an unusual triangle of light visible along the ecliptic before dawn and after dusk under dark skies, specially in pre-dawn sky of late Summer and early Autumn and just after dusk in late winter and early spring (considered for northern hemisphere and opposite for the southern viewers). Zodiacal light is so bright at those mentioned time of year because the dust band is oriented nearly vertical at sunrise or sunset, so that the thick air near the horizon does not block it out. Babak Tafreshi/

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