Observing Zodiacal light

The zodiacal light is a faint glow that travels along the ecliptic preceding and following the sun by up to several hours, and appears to be caused by sunlight reflecting off interplanetary dust particles in the inner solar system. In the evening and morning hours, it may appear as bright as the Milky Way at times when it stands nearly vertically off the horizons. For the western evening sky, this occurs in February and March for mid—northern latitude3, while the eastern morning sky is favored in September and October, providing there is no moonlight to interfere.

The zodiacal light is probably too faint to be observed visually during totality, except from very high elevations. However, eclipse observers with a very low sun angle, or who find themselves just outside of totality for an eclipse occuring before sunrise or after sunset at their locations, might wish to attempt observations of this nature.

 



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