zodiacal light

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The zodiacal light.


zodiacal light (plural zodiacal lights)

  1. (astronomy) A soft glow of white light seen in the sky along the ecliptic in an elongated triangular form with its base being on the horizon, particularly in the tropics.
    • 1856, George Jones, “No. 271. December 30th, 1854: Morning.”, in Observations on the Zodiacal Light, from April 2, 1853, to April 22, 1855, Made Chiefly on Board the United States Steam-Frigate Mississippi, during Her Late Cruise in Eastern Seas, and Her Voyage Homeward: With Conclusions from the Data thus Obtained (Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan, []; III; 33d Congress, 2d Session, Senate Ex. Doc. no. 79), Washington, D.C.: Beverley Tucker, senate printer, OCLC 837795162, page 542:
      I also, this morning gave attention to the stars as seen through the Zodiacal Light, and found, even to 4h 30m, when the effulgent Light below the zigzag lines is very strong, that with the naked eye I could readily make out stars of the 6th magnitude within the effulgent Light; [...]
    • 1896, H[erbert] G[eorge] Wells, “The Thing in the Forest”, in The Island of Doctor Moreau (Heinemann’s Colonial Library of Popular Fiction; 52), London: William Heinemann, OCLC 892648905; republished as The Island of Doctor Moreau: A Possibility, New York, N.Y.: Stone & Kimball, 1896, OCLC 660486, pages 81–82:
      Westward I saw the zodiacal light mingling with the yellow brilliance of the evening star.

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