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Earth Science Photo Of The Day..!! 20/12/2011

Zodiacal Light from La Palma, Spain

PhotographerAlex CherneyAlex's Web site 
Summary AuthorAlex CherneyGreg ParkerJim Foster

The time exposed image above shows the zodiacal light as observed at Roque de los Muchachos ObservatoryLa Palma, Canary Islands, Spain on the evening of June 27, 2011. The zodiacal light is the wedge-shaped swatch spreading just above the horizon, at lower center, to the upper left -- its axis extends through the constellations of thezodiac. This dimly lit area of the sky is simply scattered sunlight from myriad dust particles that lie between the Sun and Earth. It's easiest to detect after sunset in early spring and before sunrise in autumn (in the Northern Hemisphere), because at these times the ecliptic is steeply pitched with respect to the horizon, and so its light is more obvious. However, from darkened locations having an unobstructed view of the horizon, it can be seen at other times of the year as well. 


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