zodiacal light

zodiacal light


Definition of ZODIACAL LIGHT

:  a diffuse glow seen in the west after twilight and in the east before dawn

First Known Use of ZODIACAL LIGHT


zodiacal light

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Band of very faint light in the night sky. It is thought to be sunlight reflected from interplanetary dust grains lying mostly in the plane of the zodiac, or ecliptic. Seen in the west after twilight and in the east before dawn, it is most clearly visible in the tropics, where the ecliptic is approximately perpendicular to the horizon. In midnorthern latitudes it is best seen evenings in February and March and mornings in September and October (vice versa in midsouthern latitudes). The light can be followed visually to a point about 90° from the Sun. It continues to the region opposite the Sun, where a slight enhancement, the gegenschein, is visible.


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