Zodiacal Glow Lightens Paranal Sky

This impressive photograph, taken at the site of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Paranal Observatory in Chile, shows, towards the centre left, the Milky Way — with its share of nebulae, stars, and gas clouds — rising above the VLT Unit Telescopes.

To the right, competing for attention as it arcs above the horizon, a beautiful, almost triangular band of diffuse light lies along the ecliptic, which is the apparent path of the Sun in the sky as seen from the Earth.

This glow originates in the scattering of sunlight by dust located between the planets that are spread through the plane of the Solar System. This coincides in the sky with the band known as the Zodiac, which extends for eight degrees of arc on either side of the ecliptic and contains the traditional zodiacal constellations.


Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO

About the Image

Release date:2 December 2013, 10:00
Size:5616 x 3696 px

About the Object

Name:Milky Way, Very Large Telescope, Zodiacal light
Type:• Solar System : Sky Phenomenon : Night Sky : Zodiacal Light
• X - Paranal

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