Zodiacal light over the Pacific


Roland Christen
 

My latest entry at Astrobin:

https://www.astrobin.com/full/0ueuhs/0/?nc=Uncarollo

Back in April Marj and I visited Hawaii Island for a short vacation. We had some very clear nights with bright Milky Way overhead, and I did some observing with friends and neighbors with our 175 refractor. Someone mentioned that Saturn was her favorite planet because it has rings. I added that actually many of the planets had rings, including our Earth. I had them look west over the Pacific where the Zodiacal light rose straight up, reaching overhead into the Milky way. I explained that this is a ring of dust that is being illuminated by the sun, and we can see it every night after sunset in this pristine sky.

I was able to capture it on the following night with my 12mm Rokinon lens on my little Sony camera. It took a number of tries because some images were ruined by airplanes in their decent towards the Kona airport. But eventually I got five 30 second exposures that i combined in this shot.

I also spent quite a few nights getting acquainted with the southern skies using both 100mm binoculars and our 175 refractor. No imaging, just visual the way people used to look at the skies. Down here in the south Pacific, one can see Omega Centauri quite high up, and easily see the Carina Nebula and other deep sky objects in that part of the sky. I eventually went to bed as the Scorpion rose over Mauna Kea and the gibbous Moon appeared over the top of Kohala mountain. From my observatory I have a view of 5 volcanoes - Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai, Kohala, and Maui's Haleakala.

Rolando

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Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

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