zodiacal light

LADEE Sees Zodiacal Light before Crashing into Moon, but Apollo Mystery Remains

by Bob King April 24, 2014

NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) literally ‘saw the light’ just days before crashing into the lunar farside last Thursday April 17. Skimming just a few kilometers above the moon’s surface, mission controllers took advantage of this unique low angle to gaze out over the moon’s horizon in complete darkness much like the Apollo astronauts did from lunar […]

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Happy Equinox! – A Perfect Time to See the Zodiacal Light

by Bob King March 20, 2014

Welcome to the first day of spring! If you have a clear night between now and April 1, celebrate the new season with a pilgrimage to the countryside to ponder the eerie glow of the zodiacal light. Look for a large, diffuse, tapering cone of light poking up from the western horizon between 90 minutes […]

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Dark Sky Regulations Bring Zodiacal Light to Rhode Island Observatory

by Jason Major January 8, 2014

The result of sunlight reflected off fine particles of dust aligned along the plane of the Solar System, zodiacal light appears as a diffuse, hazy band of light stretching upwards from the horizon after sunset or before sunrise. Most people have never seen zodiacal light because it’s very dim, and thus an extremely dark sky […]

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Astrophoto: Zodiacal Light at Dawn

by Nancy Atkinson December 9, 2013

Sometimes, if you are lucky, dawn comes before the dawn. The zodiacal light – or false dawn, as it is sometimes called – is an ethereal light extending up from the horizon, sometimes seen about an hour before sunrise or an hour after sunset. At one time, it was thought this was an atmospheric phenomenon, […]

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The September Equinox: ‘Tis the Season to Spy the Zodiacal Light

by David Dickinson September 16, 2013

This week leading up to the September equinox offers you a fine chance to catch an elusive phenomenon in the pre-dawn sky. We’re talking about the zodiacal light, the ghostly pyramid-shaped luminescence that heralds the approach of dawn. Zodiacal light can also be seen in the post-dusk sky, extending from the western horizon along the […]

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