Zodiacal Light and Perseid Meteors

By: Babak A. Tafreshi


Region: Middle East

Site: Alborz Mountains - Iran

Date: 2010 August 13

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As seen on National Geographic News, under dark starry skies the Zodiacal Light appears brighter than the Milky Way in this mid-August morning view. The single exposure wide-angle photo is taken during peak hours of the annual Perseid meteor shower and there are two meteors captured on the right side. Click on the constellation icon above the image to recognize the brighter stars and notable objects in this view. 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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