Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Zodiacal Light

We are under some of the darkest skies that I have ever seen, here in Magdalena, NM.  Our friend John Briggs, who I have known for years now, lives here on 80 acres some distance from town.  He was determined that we would get to see the Zodiacal Light, which is caused by sunlight scattered by particles of space dust, and can only be seen about an hour and a half after the sun has set, IF you are in pristine dark skies.  The slightest amount of light pollution will make this invisible.  It is a stunning thing to see, perched on top of a hill, with the entire sky filled with brilliant stars overhead.


Dean said...

Hi Ken-
Wow, a dark horizon with NO light domes! Pretty amazing! Once I spotted the Andromeda Galaxy at upper right central, I could easily pick up Pegasus and Andromeda, then the Triangulum galaxy and more. Amazing that even some well-known astronomers, like "Mr. Bad Astronomer" Phil Plait, has never seen the Zodiacal Light. I never spotted it growing up in the Midwest, so glad we know it "lives" in the Southwest! Now you gotta go look for the Gegenshein in the east somewhere to the right of Jupiter!

Ken Spencer said...

Dean: You HAVE to come out here, and spend time with John Briggs. He even suggested that at some time, you might come out to the Magdalena Star Party and give a talk. He would love to see you again, and he would love to have you see his warehouse of all kinds of telescopes and telescope parts!

Anonymous said...

So happy that you could experience this!!! bsk