"The 'False Dawn' of Omar Khayyam, and How To Find It"

Scheduled air date: 1998 Aug 24-30

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A gigantic cloud of dust which lies within the plane of Earth's orbit...

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...can sometimes be seen illuminated in the pre-dawn (or post-dusk) sky as a faint cone called the Zodiacal Light, or False Dawn.  It is most easily seen near equinoxes (shown here for Autumnal Equinox on September 23rd—the Milky way is also visible in the right half of the image).

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

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