Monday, February 4, 2019

ZODIACAL LIGHT, ANDROMEDA, MILKY WAY Taken by John Ashley on January 29, 2019 @ Augusta, Montana

Panoramic stitch of nine images. Nikon D750 with Rokinon 14mm f2.8, 30 seconds @ISO 4,000.

W​e just orbited past the halfway point between winter and spring solstices. Weve reached the best time of year to look for the largest feature in our solar system thats visible to the naked eye — but a phenomenon thats almost never seen. After twilight fades into inky darkness, zodiacal light rises from the western horizon​ as​ a ​subtle​ ​cone of luminous light (​white, ​no color) thats slightly dimmer than winter​s faint​ Milky Way.​ ​You cant see it with moonlight or artificial light pollution. It originates as sunlight, faintly reflecting off countless dust particles that exist in the flat plane where Earth and all the other planets orbit our local star. ​While the Milky Way is bright star clusters veiled by dark dust lanes, the zodiacal light is local space dust that shimmers!​

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