Howard's Astronomical Adventures
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Zodiacal Light over Monument Rocks

Looking west an hour after sunset the cone shaped glow rising up behind Monument Rocks is called the Zodiacal light. Invisible if you are close to a city, this pyramid of light is very obvious at a dark site such as this one in western Kansas. The Zodiacal light occurs in the evening (to the west) or the morning (to the east). The evening display is best seen from February to around April.

Interestingly the Zodiacal light is caused by the suns light reflecting off dust particles in Earths orbit. A recent study mentioned on Sky & Telescopes site suggests these particles are mainly from comets.

Photograph Information
Date03.13.2009, 20:17
LocationMonument Rocks, Kansas
LensCanon 24mm @ f2.8
CameraCanon 5D Mark II
Exposure1 exposure of 30 seconds at ISO 1600
NotesAverage transparency, temperature around 41°F, poor seeing.

Initial RAW conversion in Canon DPP with peripheral illumination adjustment, processing in Photoshop CS2

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