Physics To Go is an online monthly mini-magazine and a collection of more than 950 websites with physics images, activites, and info. You can view an archived version of our February 16, 2009 issue, Dust in the sky & galaxy below, or click to see our September 1, 2013 issue, Two views of Earth.

Physics in Your World

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Zodiacal Light image
image credit: Malcolm Park (North York Astronomical Association); image source; larger image

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Zodiacal Light

This image, taken in New Mexico just before dawn, shows what is called the Zodiacal light. This light is scattered from particles of solar system dust concentrated in bands in the ecliptic plane (that's the plane that contains Earth's orbit around the sun).
-- When this image was captured, the ecliptic was nearly vertical.
-- These dust particles orbit the sun.
-- To learn more about the image, see Astronomy Picture of the Day: Zodiacal Light.

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Physics at Home

Have You Seen the Zodiacal Light?

To learn about observing the zodiacal light, and see another photograph of it, visit Have You Seen the Zodiacal Light?.


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From Physics Research

Astronomy Picture of the Day: The Milky Way in Stars and Dust image
image credit: Serge Brunier; image source; larger image

Astronomy Picture of the Day: The Milky Way in Stars and Dust

This image of the Milky Way shows how interstellar dust in the plane of the galaxy obscures the view, particularly of the galactic center.
-- The galactic center looks somewhat reddish because the shorter wavelength blue light is scattered preferentially by the dust; with shorter wavelengths removed, the remaining light is reddened.
-- To find out more about this image, visit Astronomy Picture of the Day: The Milky Way in Stars and Dust.
-- Click for a remarkable view of both the Zodiacal Light and Milky Way.


Worth a Look

Written In Dust

Visit Written In Dust to find out how measurements of interplanetary dust accumulated at the ocean bottom provide information about the history of Earth's geology and climate. For more on the dust, see this Astronomy Picture of the Day.

(This feature was updated on August 13, 2013.)


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