Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:24 PM
I was out last night looking at M1 while waiting for Comet C/2012 K5 (LINEAR) to rise above the mountain and out of the soup. About 5:00 AM local time I figured that the comet would be high enough to observe and sketch and prepared to turn the scope around from the west to the NE (the comet is in Bootes).
When I turned around I saw a pillar of light rising almost straight up a good 60° above my observatory's eastern wall--the zodiacal light.
Fall is a good time to see this phenomenon but you'll need dark skies. It was very transparent this morning, too. Look about 90 minutes beore sunrise. Good luck!
Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:31 AM
Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:35 AM
Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:49 AM
Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:26 PM
This time of year here it's a pre-sunrise phenomenon, but from early March to late June, its quite a show for about 90 minutes after sunset.
Posted 23 November 2012 - 11:36 PM
It extended up to around Leo's underbelly and was bright enough for even my wife to notice. She thought it looked like a wizard's hat. I took advantage of her momentary interest and explained the phenomenon, the ecliptic, the plane of our solar system, and even our location in the Milky Way and how that effects our galactic view in the winter vs. the summer.
I have to get in as much as I can when I have her attention! She does really enjoy our dark sky here in southern Utah - nearly as much as I do!