Venus and the Zodiacal Light

By: Babak A. Tafreshi


Region: Americas

Site: Maine - USA

Date: October 2012

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The morning twilight, zodiacal light, and Venus over the Atlantic coastline of Maine, northeastern United States. The two bright stars of Gemini, the Twins, Castor and Pollux are near the top. 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. Click on the constellation icon above the image to see a fisheye view of this moment that compares the brightness of the winter Milky Way and the zodiacal light. Babak Tafreshi,

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