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Ecliptic and the Galactic Plane

By: Tunc Tezel

 

Region: Americas

Site: Ilha Grande - Brazil

Date: 2016 April 18

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This all sky panorama photographed just before morning twilight shows the night sky of Ilha Grande, an island in Brazil, about 15km off from the mainland and 100km west of Rio de Janeiro. Click the constellation icon above the image to see the labels. From the photographer: "The island is almost devoid of any motor traffic, apart from a few vehicles for community services. To get away from lights of the only village, I walked about 9 km to reach this wide open beach named Praia Dois Rios. Thanks to Ilha Grande's latitude being very close to Tropic of Capricorn, the ecliptic crosses directly overhead, which happens before dawn in April. In the same time frame, the Milky Way is also passing through zenith. And coincidentally, the crossover of both ecliptic and galactic axes is very close to the center of the Milky Way, again at zenith. Unlike the bright band and bulge of the Milky Way, the ecliptic is faintly traced with the Zodiacal Light rising from the eastern horizon." Tunc Tezel

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