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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    blackstar's Avatar

    Zodiacal Light

    Zodiacal Light
    Here is a note (March 31, 2021) from Andrew Fazekas in National Geographic's "The Night Skies" coverage:

    "The Ghostly Zodiacal Light: Tonight and for the next two weeks, keen-eyed skywatchers across northern latitudes get a chance to witness the ghostly glow of the zodiacal lights for about one to two hours after dusk in the western sky. This pyramid-shaped beam of light (pictured above from Chile in 2009) is easily mistaken for the lights of a far-off city. For many centuries, observers have been fooled into thinking the zodiacal light is either the last vestige of evening twilight or the first hints of morning twilight, depending on the time of year it appears. It was believed to have been caused by sunlight hitting the very top of Earth’s atmosphere. But it turns out this light is much more ethereal, resulting from sunlight reflecting off the countless dust particles floating in space. All these dust particles are leftovers from the birth of the planets about 4.5 billion years ago. The best chances to catch this light phenomenon will come in the dark countryside... " And the photo:
    Zodiacal Light-zodiacal.jpg

    My first attempts were all failure, shot on 3-12-21 though.
    One of the original:
    Zodiacal Light-2021-03-12_18-48-30-s.jpg
    HDR processed:
    Zodiacal Light-2021-03-12_18-48-30-nik-s.jpg

    So wonder if anyone has done this before or is interested to give it a try soon? Appreciate your sharing of experience, opinions, ideas, and comments.


    › See More: Zodiacal Light
    Last edited by blackstar; 04-05-2021 at 01:18 AM.



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Bikerbrent's Avatar

    Re: Zodiacal Light

    Nice shot and story. Thanks for sharing
    Thanks/Like blackstar Thanks/liked this post
     
    Brent: Poway, CA
    D7200, D200, F100
    Tokina 12-24mm
    Nikon 18-200mm
    Tokina 28-70mm f2.6-2.8
    Nikon 80-200mm f2.8
    Sigma 150-600mm
    Nikon 50 AF f1.8
    Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro
    Nikon SB800

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    blackstar's Avatar

    Re: Zodiacal Light

    Hi Brent, Thank you for replying. It is a nice shot from the note author (I think). But my trial shots are no show... is it bad timing (date) or something else?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Bikerbrent's Avatar

    Re: Zodiacal Light

    Quote Originally Posted by blackstar View Post
    Hi Brent, Thank you for replying. It is a nice shot from the note author (I think). But my trial shots are no show... is it bad timing (date) or something else?
    Ops! I,m so sorry and ashamed I didn't realize you did not do the first shot as I didn't read close enough. My bad!
    Thanks/Like blackstar Thanks/liked this post
     
    Brent: Poway, CA
    D7200, D200, F100
    Tokina 12-24mm
    Nikon 18-200mm
    Tokina 28-70mm f2.6-2.8
    Nikon 80-200mm f2.8
    Sigma 150-600mm
    Nikon 50 AF f1.8
    Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro
    Nikon SB800

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Dawg Pics's Avatar

    Re: Zodiacal Light

    I am thinking you need darker skies to image it, especially if there is sky glow from the city on the horizon washing it out. I don't know if you were too early as far as the date, but all of the images I have seen show dark skies with stars, so maybe you need to shoot a little later after the sun sets.
    I am curious now. I have mountains in my way, but I might be able to drive out to the coast or out towards the desert.
    Thanks for posting this.
    Last edited by Dawg Pics; 04-05-2021 at 09:26 AM.
    Thanks/Like blackstar Thanks/liked this post
     
    "Connected to the universe by way of the star-stuff within"


    Um yeahhhh, I shoot a lot of pics of my dogs.
    D500 (DOB 05/26/17), D300, D80, SB-800. RIP-D100
    Sigma 150-600mm DG Contemporary, Sigma 50-150mm f2.8, Tamron 28-75mm f2.8,
    Nikkor Nifty-Fifty.
    2 crapola tripods with 2 equally crappy heads. (Working on it

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    blackstar's Avatar

    Re: Zodiacal Light

    Zodiacal Light
    Quote Originally Posted by Dawg Pics View Post
    I am thinking you need darker skies to image it, especially if there is sky glow from the city on the horizon washing it out. I don't know if you were too early as far as the date, but all of the images I have seen show dark skies with stars, so maybe you need to shoot a little later after the sun sets.
    I am curious now. I have mountains in my way, but I might be able to drive out to the coast or out towards the desert.
    Thanks for posting this.
    Thanks. Maybe the place (San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge, an outskirt area from town) isn't the ideal true dark area, but surely much better than inside the city. To the west view, almost no city light can be seen. All lights in the photos taken were the remnant of sunset. I stay there at the spot well before and after sunset taking continuous shots and trying to see the Z light. Sadly none was eye-visible. The latest shot at the night was taken well after sunset and still no show except stars:
    Original:
    Zodiacal Light-2021-03-12_19-17-25-s.jpg

    Processed:
    Zodiacal Light-2021-03-12_19-17-25-nik-s.jpg

    Wish you luck to view the wonderful light and catch it!

    (I have deleted the bunny photo, but don't know why it still show below)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Zodiacal Light-2021-03-12_17-37-49-s.jpg  

    Zodiacal Light-2021-03-12_18-48-30-s.jpg  

    Last edited by blackstar; 04-05-2021 at 07:58 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Dawg Pics's Avatar

    Re: Zodiacal Light

    The stars are nice, even if you didn't catch the Zodiacal Light. I don't know how much transparency and seeing affect something like that or how variable the visibility is from year to year or by location. I hope you can catch it and tell me how to do it.
    I might take a drive tonight and see if I can catch a dark enough place with a horizon.
    Thanks/Like blackstar Thanks/liked this post
     
    "Connected to the universe by way of the star-stuff within"


    Um yeahhhh, I shoot a lot of pics of my dogs.
    D500 (DOB 05/26/17), D300, D80, SB-800. RIP-D100
    Sigma 150-600mm DG Contemporary, Sigma 50-150mm f2.8, Tamron 28-75mm f2.8,
    Nikkor Nifty-Fifty.
    2 crapola tripods with 2 equally crappy heads. (Working on it

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    blackstar's Avatar

    Re: Zodiacal Light

    Zodiacal Light
    It seems no luck for me here  I use Stellarium today to see if the Z light is visible here. Starting at 6:00 PM while Sun is still above the horizon, I fast forward and view the western sky until after 8:00. No Z-light ever shows up! Only seeing the bright Mars shinning up there.
    Zodiacal Light-screen-shot-2021-04-05-6.14.34-pm-s.jpg

    To make sure Stellarium has a default setting of sky darkness at the medium-high rate (so it will show a scene that would be invisible in the local low dark, light-polluted sky), I fast forward again to ~ 4:00 AM and turn to the Southern sky. There the beautiful Milky Way is visibly displayed (it's visible between 3:00 and 5:00).<br>
    Zodiacal Light-screen-shot-2021-04-05-8.48.09-pm-s.jpg

    So it's all yours to catch it. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    blackstar's Avatar

    Re: Zodiacal Light

    Zodiacal Light
    Finally, I think the ZL was there when I tried catching on 3-12. I used DT to process one of the original shots and came up with a though-fainted light cone (still barely visible) up to the tilted solar plane. I guess LP is the primary factor for visualizing the ZL (more than MW). Still waiting for Dawg's great catch. I doubt I can make my second attempt before the end of April due to recent knee hurt.

    Zodiacal Light-2021-03-12_19-14-12-nik-dt-s.jpg

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Dawg Pics's Avatar

    Re: Zodiacal Light

    Congratations.
    I could faintly see it in the processed image you posted the other day, but I wasn't sure if that was it. I had cloud cover, but I am going to look for a dark pot soon. I broke my wide angle lens, but I am going to give it a try.

    I hope your knee heals quickly.
    Last edited by Dawg Pics; 04-06-2021 at 11:51 PM.
    Thanks/Like blackstar Thanks/liked this post
     
    "Connected to the universe by way of the star-stuff within"


    Um yeahhhh, I shoot a lot of pics of my dogs.
    D500 (DOB 05/26/17), D300, D80, SB-800. RIP-D100
    Sigma 150-600mm DG Contemporary, Sigma 50-150mm f2.8, Tamron 28-75mm f2.8,
    Nikkor Nifty-Fifty.
    2 crapola tripods with 2 equally crappy heads. (Working on it





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