Explore the Night with Bob King

A Zodiac Ramble . . . with a Few Fun Detours

Take a trip along the ecliptic from dusk till dawn to check out the sights along this well-traveled highway — the zodiacal light, Mercury, and the gegenschein, plus scenic detours to a comet and asteroid.

Comets

The Sacred Hour Before Dawn and an Evening Comet Surprise

Silence can sometimes be in short supply, but one sure place to find it is under a starry sky before the first blush of dawn. Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann erupts again!

Explore the Night with Bob King

Orionid Meteors Max Out Sunday, Zodiacal Light Returns

See what cosmic dust can do! Head outside this weekend for the peak of the Orionid meteor shower and an eyeful of zodiacal light.

Feather of Dusty Light

Explore the Night with Bob King

Mercury Punctuates The False Dawn

Early risers get a triple treat this week and next: a ravishing dawn Moon, an excellent apparition of Mercury, and a hint of Halloween in the ghostly zodiacal light.

Dust with bling

Explore the Night with Bob King

Take the Gegenschein Challenge

How and when to see the gegenschein, cousin of the zodiacal light and one of the greatest night sky naked-eye challenges.

Touch of dusty lingering dusk

Explore the Night with Bob King

How to See and Shoot the Zodiacal Light

The ethereal zodiacal light returns to view this month. Learn how to see and photograph it with your digital camera.

Zodiacal light

Exoplanets

Spotting Comet Dust Around Alien Suns

Have you ever spotted the glow of a “false dawn”? Now astronomers have spotted a similar zodiacal light around nine nearby stars.

Cone of zodiacal light stretching into the sky from behind a dark silhouette of evergreen trees.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Zodiacal Light - Captivated by Comet Dust

October's a perfect time to see the zodiacal light, a tapering tower of comet dust standing high in the eastern sky before dawn. Here's how to find it.

Celestial News & Events

The Quest for Zodiacal Light

The first half of October 2013 is a good chance for early risers to catch the zodiacal light, the faint eastern glow preceding dawn.

Celestial News & Events

The Evening Zodiacal Light in 2013

The zodiacal light shows very well from dark locations at mid-northern latitudes starting about 80 minutes after sunset on moonless evenings from late January to early April.

Solar System

Zodiacal Light's Mystery Solved

Eerie and elusive, the zodiacal light is created from sunlight glinting off countless dust particles in the inner solar system. At last, astronomers have figured out where all that grit comes from.

Celestial News & Events

Zodiacal Light in the Evening

The zodiacal light is on its best display in the Northern Hemisphere on moonless evenings from February through April.

Observing

Have You Seen the Zodiacal Light?

This pearly glow is surprisingly easy to see — if you know what to look for.

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