|Venus, Zodiacal Light, and the Galactic Center|
The bulging center of
our Milky Way Galaxy
rests on a pillar of light in this luminous skyscape.
Recorded on September 22nd in dark South African skies,
rivers of dust seem to flow downward from the galactic center
towards Antares, yellowish
alpha star of the constellation Scorpius, near the top of the scene.
The brightest celestial beacon present is not a star at all though, but
planet Venus, still dominant in the western sky after sunset.
Of course, the pillar of light stretching upward from the horizon is
Sunlight scattered by dust along the plane of
the ecliptic creates the
zodiacal glow, prominent in the evening after twilight
southern hemisphere spring.
(Durham University, CfAI)