Zodiacal arc over La Silla

Zodiacal arc over La Silla

Over the valley of Atacama Desert, seen from ESO La Silla observatory on 16 November 2017, our Milky Way galaxy is going to set. From its bulge, a dim arc of zodiacal light takes a place in the dark Chilean sky with four more galaxies seen on this panoramatic picture. Two of them, the Magellanic clouds, lie on the left part, close to the southern sky pole. Another two – Andromeda Galaxy and fainter Triangulum Galaxy – can be found nearby the dome of ESO 3.6m telescope (illuminated by leaving car), the hunter of exoplanets. Focusing more on the zodiacal light, you can easily spot a brighter oval in the right part of the arc, just above bluish Pleiades. This so-called Gegenschein is located in antisolar point, backwardly scattering the solar light on interplanetary particles surrounding inner part of our Solar System in the ecliptic level. This is why is the arc in the picture, in fact, projected in constellations of zodiac (and thus we call it this way). The image was taken using Canon 6D Baader IR modified, Samyang 12 mm, f 3.2, ISO 6400, 11x100s single images panorama from tripod and Vixen Polarie mount.