Winter Zodiacal Light


One of the coolest night sky phenomenon is Zodiacal light, sometimes called false dawn. The other night I went out to photograph the Milky Way near Grand Marais and noticed an interesting glow in the sky and photographed it. After I got home, I was looking at my picture and thought: is that Zodiacal light? If it was, it was the first time that I’ve photographed it! I did a little research, consulted with some night-sky experts and figured out that it is Zodiacal light. So sweet that I finally got a picture of it!!!

Zodiacal light is the glow you can see in the center of this photo and is caused by sunlight hitting cosmic dust in our solar system. That dust is old and is left over from the formation of our solar system 4.5 billion years ago. Zodiacal light follows the ecliptic, so your best chance of seeing it is to figure out where the sun is going to be between two hours and one hour before sunrise or after sunset and look that way. You’ll need a dark night sky.

Hope you enjoy.

p.s. The Milky way is in the upper right corner and in the upper center, the bright “star” is the Andromeda galaxy.

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