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Monday, March 31, 2008

Watch for the Zodiacal Light!


This time of year is a great time to look out for an optical phenomenon known as the zodiacal light.

The zodiacal light is an optical phenomenon that is caused by the sun's light reflecting off of cosmic dust in the inner solar system. It can be seen as a faint triangular wedge of light on the horizon, and along the ecliptic.

The best conditions for viewing the zodiacal light are just after sunset in the spring, and just before sunrise in the autumn. Lighting conditions must be extremely dark, however, in order to see the zodiacal light. Any light pollution or moon light will ruin your chances at seeing this phenomenon. Also make sure not to mistake a local town or city's light dome for the zodiacal light.

Many people have been looking for the zodiacal light for years and have not seen it, so if you don't see it, don't be disappointed! Its worth having a look, though!

Clear skies!

Image courtesy of Dominic Cantin.

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