Until April 13, a phenomenon that can only be seen twice a year is happening overhead.
Look towards the western horizon about an hour after sunset, and if the air is clear, you might see a ‘zodiacal light’.
Seen in the Northern Hemisphere just after twilight, according to POTWhat we are seeing in that faint glow is “sunlight reflected back to Earth by a cloud of tiny dust particles orbiting the Sun.”
According to the US space agency, while there is now strong evidence that Mars, the dustiest planet scientists know, is the source of zodiacal light, it is not yet possible to explain exactly how this dust “may have escaped the clutches of the Earth. Martian gravity “.
For him Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Dr. Roy Bishop, Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Acadia, describes the heavenly view beautifully: “The zodiacal light appears as a huge pyramid of softly radiating white light with its base near the horizon and its axis centered on the zodiac. (or better, the ecliptic). In its brightest parts, it exceeds the luminance of the central Milky Way ”.
Who wouldn’t want to see that? With the weather getting warmer, it’s a good time to gaze at the night sky. Let us know if you see this particular pillar of light shooting up, and good luck with your zodiac quest.
PS: There is always the September equinox for another chance to see this special pyramid-shaped glow.
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