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Zodiacal Light

Zodiacal Light
Photo Information
Copyright: Dominic Cantin (Dom) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 13 W: 4 N: 28] (94)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2003-09-02
Categories: Sky
Camera: Pentax K1000, Zenitar 16mm fisheye, Fuji Superia 800
Exposure: f/3.5
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Heavens Above, Our world at night. [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-09-01 3:02
Viewed: 4872
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
Go under a dark sky , far of the cities to escape the lights and you'll be able to see the zodiacal light. It's the right time of the year to witness this phenomena. The Moon should not be visible to be able to see the ZL.

This photo was taken facing east before the beginning of twilight on the morning of September 2, 2003. The zodiacal light is passing through the constellation of Gemini ( Saturn was in Gemini at this time ), and there was a red auroral glow at the left. Photo details: 16mm fisheye lens @ f 3.5 , 10 minutes "piggybacked" on EQ-3 motorized mount , Fuji Superia 800

The zodiacal light is a faint, roughly triangular glow seen in the night sky which appears to extend up from the vicinity of the sun along the ecliptic or zodiac. In mid-northern latitudes, the zodiacal light is best observed in the western sky in the spring after the evening twilight has completely disappeared, or in the eastern sky in the autumn just before the morning twilight appears. It is so faint that it is completely masked by either moonlight or light pollution. The zodiacal light decreases in intensity with distance from the Sun, but on very dark nights it has been observed in a band completely around the ecliptic. In fact, the zodiacal light covers the entire sky, being responsible for 60% of the total skylight on a moonless night. There is also a very faint, but still slightly increased, oval glow directly opposite the Sun which is known as the gegenschein.

The zodiacal light is produced by sunlight reflecting off dust particles which are present in the solar system and, consequently, its spectrum is the same as the solar spectrum. The material producing the zodiacal light is located in a lens-shaped volume of space centered on the sun and extending well out beyond the orbit of Earth. This material is known as the interplanetary dust cloud. Since most of the material is located near the plane of the solar system, the zodiacal light is seen along the ecliptic. The amount of material needed to produce the observed zodiacal light is amazingly small. If it were in the form of 1 mm particles, each with the same albedo (reflecting power) as Earth's moon, each particle would be 5 miles from its neighbors. The gegenschein may be due to the fact that particles directly opposite Earth from the sun would be in full phase.

here's where I took the text

Luc, dew77, coasties, sAner, red45, Runnerduck, liquidsunshine, oscarromulus has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
Phenomenawinterpalace 1 11-25 06:03
To red45: time exposureDom 1 09-01 11:36
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-09-01 5:18]

Hello Dominic!
Wonderful capture again.POV,lighting,composition and your note are excellent.TFS...:-)

Gorgeous photo and a very interesting note, Dominic. Thanks for sharing!

Hello Dominic

Great shot and a very interesting note. Lovely colours. Excellent work. Thanks.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-09-01 6:22]

Hi Dom,

Amazing stuff! This really is a great photo and so different from all the usual posts. I hope you will show us many more. :) TFS!


  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-09-01 8:59]
  • [+]

Superb picture and note Dominic. Night sky with all these stars and deep space objects looks amazing. How long was exposure time?

  • Great 
  • twin Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 17 N: 494] (3259)
  • [2005-09-01 12:11]

it is so interesting and a wonderful shot...
so nice to watch it...
a great note as well..
thanks a lot for sharing

Stunning, an image I could personally look at all night.
Great note. I have seen images similar to this where the exposure time was set for quite some time see here.
Thanks for posting.

A fantastic post Dominic,
This is something we don't see much of on TN. Very interesting notes and excellent results. I'm looking forward to your next post like this, absolutely stunning shot.
Thanks for posting, have a good weekend.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-09-02 1:20]

Hi Dominic! I do not have the time to write a complete comment.

"The beginning of wisdom is silence. The second step is listening." ~ unknown

Thank you for sharing picture and note and for the enjoyment which they give to me.

p.s.: vivant pratiquement au centre-ville de Montréal, j'ai raté les aurores d'hier. La semaine prochaine je serai dans le bout de Ste-Adèle. J'observerai le ciel et je me souhaite quelques 'lueurs' d'espoir! (Luc)

This is truly an AMAZING display of nature at its best!!!
Loved your note too.
Mario with greetings from Canada.

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