Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Zodiacal Lights (and Casino Lights)

On March 6, 2010, I went out with Bob of Blackholes and Astrostuff to photograph the Zodiacal Lights. Zodiacal light is caused by sunlight reflecting off of dust particles in the solar system known as cosmic dust, known as the interplanetary dust cloud. It usually appears as a triangle-shaped column of light in the western sky in the spring just after the evening twilight has disappeared, or in autumn just before morning twilight appears.

The following picture is one that was taken the same night as the ones above. It is of our local Dakota Dunes Casino lights shining into the sky causing light pollution. Unfortunately, the casino operators have no respect for astronomy nor care that the light pollution is a problem. Thus, the lights persist night after night. Orion constellation is in the center, The Hyades are up and to the right of that and the Pleiades are in the top right corner.


  1. Awesome shots Colin, love the Zodiacal ones. I hate those Casino lights, what a waste of energy and screwing up our night sky. It is amazing we still haven't a bylaw in place to prevent such nonsense.

  2. Thanks Bob. I'm thinking that even for Earth Hour, those lights will be burning up the night sky.