Zodiacal Light & The Winter Triangle

Zodiacal Light & Winter Triangle, Orion's Betelgeuse, Sirius, Procyon
Zodiacal Light & the Winter Triangle, The constellation of Orion & Sirius brightest star in the sky!

John Chumack


I captured this image on 09-28-2016 with my Canon 6D DSLR, 24mm lens, F4, ISO 2000, 2 minute exposure on Star Adventurer Camera Tracking Mount. Above my base camp at the Okie-Tex Star Party 2016!

One of the most difficult things for me to capture over the years while living and shooting in Ohio was Zodiacal Light, you need a truly dark sky to see it well, and at the Okie–Tex Star Party in Oklahoma this year I was able to see it every morning between 5:00am and 6:30 am, it was a bright wedge of light emanating off the Eastern Horizon in this case near the Head of Leo on 09-28-2016, look above the white Camper Top Van! … Zodiacal Light is a faint, roughly triangular, diffuse, subtle white glow seen in the night sky that appears to extend up from the vicinity of the Sun along the ecliptic or zodiac. It is caused by sunlight scattered by space Ice & dust particles in the zodiacal cloud. Zodiacal Light is sometimes called the false dawn.

You can see the Beehive Open Star Cluster in Cancer & M67 open cluster buried in the glow of the Zodiacal Light. Many other star clusters are visible in this shot like M41 below Sirius, to the left of Sirius along the Mesa Ridge, you can also see M46 & M47 Open Stars clusters, and a Little to the left of them is M48 Open Cluster. Also prominent is the Constellation of Orion with Bright Orange Star Betelgeuse making up one corner of the Winter Triangle, along with Sirius in Canis Major the Brightest Star in the Sky just above the Mesa, and finally Procyon in Canis Minor makes the other point of the triangle.