Oval patch of faint light exactly opposite the Sun in the night sky, so faint it can be seen only in the absence of moonlight, away from city lights, with the eyes adapted to darkness. It is lost in the light of the Milky Way except in February, March, April, August, September, and October. The gegenschein and the zodiacal light form the most notable parts of a band of very faint light along the ecliptic. Both phenomena are thought to be the result of the reflection of sunlight from interplanetary dust grains.
Variants of GEGENSCHEIN
gegenschein or counterglow
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on gegenschein, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up gegenschein? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.