Venus and Zodiacal Light

Venus and the zodiacal light as viewed from the Kalkalpen National Park near Reichraming, Austria. On this cold and very clear autumn morning, nearby city lights are concealed under a layer of fog (lower center).

Zodiacal light is now thought to be caused by dust particles scattering sunlight in the orbits of comets. In both hemispheres it’s best observed in late winter/early spring after sunset and late summer/early fall before sunrise. However, it can be detected before astronomical twilight (morning) or after astronomical twilight (evening) at other times of the year as well, providing that the sky is quite dark.

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