Sweeping from the eastern to western horizon,
this 360 degree panorama
follows the band of
along the solar system's
Dust scattering sunlight produces the
faint zodiacal glow that
spans this fundamental coordinate plane of the celestial sphere,
corresponding to the apparent yearly path of the Sun through the sky
and the plane of Earth's orbit.
The fascinating panorama is a mosaic of images
taken from dusk to dawn over the course
of a single night at two different locations on Mauna Kea.
The lights of Hilo, Hawaii are on the eastern (left) horizon, with the
Subaru and twin Keck
telescope structures near the western horizon.
On that well chosen moonless night,
Venus was shining as the morning star just above the
eastern horizon, and Saturn was close to
In fact, Saturn is seen immersed in a brightening of the
zodiacal band known as the gegenschein.
The gegenschein also lies near 180 degrees in elongation
or angular distance from the Sun
along the ecliptic.
In the mosaic projection, the plane of our Milky
Way Galaxy runs at an angle,
crossing the horizontal band of zodiacal light above the two horizons.
Nebulae, stars, and dust clouds of the bulging
galactic center are rising in the east.