zodiacal light


Definition of zodiacal light

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

Examples of zodiacal light in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Expect exceptional views of the Milky Way, Venus, and Mercury, along with many constellations popularized in local indigenous art and lore (like Orion, Gemini, and Taurus) and maybe even the faint glow of zodiacal light. Skye Sherman, Travel + Leisure, "The Best Places to Go Stargazing Around the World," 29 Sep. 2020 Three other satellites included one that aims to study zodiacal light and image the Milky Way, officials said. Washington Post, "European planet-studying mission launches from South America," 18 Dec. 2019 March 21 About an hour after sunset and for the next two weeks afterward, keen sky-watchers in the Northern Hemisphere can hunt down one of the most elusive astronomical phenomena—the zodiacal light. Andrew Fazekas, National Geographic, "Equinox supermoon, and more can't-miss sky shows in March," 1 Mar. 2019 The zodiacal lights are actually created as sunlight reflects off countless interplanetary particles scattered along the plane of the solar system. National Geographic, "This Week’s Night Sky: See Mercury Take Flight," 4 Apr. 2016 For a second and last week, observers in the Northern Hemisphere can catch the elusive glow of the zodiacal lights. National Geographic, "Now’s Your Best Chance to See the Milky Way," 6 Sep. 2016 For about two weeks, observers in the Northern Hemisphere will have their best chance to see an ethereal display called the zodiacal lights thanks to a nearly moonless sky in the predawn hours. National Geographic, "Uranus at Its Best, and More Can't-Miss Sky Events in October," 1 Oct. 2017 Around our own Sun, this dust causes the zodiacal light that can be seen on very dark nights near the horizon. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Dimming of Tabby’s Star likely caused by something less sexy than aliens," 4 Oct. 2017 Starting on this day and lasting for the next two weeks, observers in the Northern Hemisphere will have their best chance to see an ethereal display called the zodiacal lights, thanks to a near-moonless sky in the predawn hours. National Geographic, "Planets Align, and 9 More Can't-Miss Sky Events in September," 1 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zodiacal light.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of zodiacal light

1734, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of zodiacal light was in 1734

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Cite this Entry

“Zodiacal light.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zodiacal%20light. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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