Home > Ephemeris Program, Observing > 03/30/2017 – Ephemeris – Have you ever seen zodiacal light?

03/30/2017 – Ephemeris – Have you ever seen zodiacal light?

March 30, 2017

Ephemeris for Thursday, March 30th.  The Sun will rise at 7:26.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 41 minutes, setting at 8:07.  The Moon, 3 days past new, will set at 11:23 this evening.

After you spot the moon tonight, hang around outside at the end of astronomical twilight, about 9:50 p.m. look to the west at Taurus the bull and Gemini, trying to block out the Moon.  Then broaden your gaze.  There will be a very faint triangular glow with broad base at the horizon leaning a bit to the left, with its apex near the V of the face of Taurus the bull and the bright star Aldebaran to the right of Orion.  This glow is called Zodiacal Light, caused by the reflected sunlight off a cloud of dust located in the plane of the solar system.  Most of the large bodies of the solar system orbit the sun close to a single plane.  Zodiacal Light is best seen on spring evenings and autumn mornings where it tilts to the right.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Zodiacal Light and Comet Hale-Bopp April 1997

Zodiacal Light and Comet Hale-Bopp April 1997. My image.

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