Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Gegenschein Over Chile
Posted on 12/01/2012 9:56:19 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Is the night sky darkest in the direction opposite the Sun? No. In fact, a rarely discernable faint glow known as the gegenschein (German for "counter glow") can be seen 180 degrees around from the Sun in an extremely dark sky. The gegenschein is sunlight back-scattered off small interplanetary dust particles. These dust particles are millimeter sized splinters from asteroids and orbit in the ecliptic plane of the planets. Pictured above from 2008 October is one of the more spectacular pictures of the gegenschein yet taken. Here a deep exposure of an extremely dark sky over Paranal Observatory in Chile shows the gegenschein so clearly that even a surrounding glow is visible. In the foreground are several of the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescopes, while notable background objects include the Andromeda galaxy toward the lower left and the Pleiades star cluster just above the horizon. The gegenschein is distinguished from zodiacal light near the Sun by the high angle of reflection. During the day, a phenomenon similar to the gegenschein called the glory can be seen in reflecting air or clouds opposite the Sun from an airplane.
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[Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (ESO)]
Here's my local version of "dark skies", about a half hour to the west of the Western 'Burbs of Chitown. This is about where the law of diminishing returns sets in, as far as " dark sky" return on "westward travel" investment, so I've made myself happy with this spot, and I'm fairly pleased with this result, being a single exposure of 30 seconds at f/5.6 ( taken 11/14/2012.) It does show dust lanes, after all!
The solar system has a ring?
“Counter glow” and “Glory!” Cool.
We are looking at property out that way. People would be shocked at how remarkably normal Illinois is once you’re away form the influence of the cesspool that is Chicago.
Well, that’s one idea, yeah. :’) There’s the Kuiper Belt, which consists of real and theoretical orbiting debris, akin to the more familiar asteroid belt. And there’s the Oort Cloud, which has literally never been detected, and that consists of a roughly spherical halo of debris (usually thought to be comets). The Oort Cloud’s named after Van Oort, maybe he posited its existence, but its reason for being is to clean up the theoretical mass distribution of the solar system and as a sort of kludge solution to mathematical problems with theories of solar system formation.
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