"The Annual Return of the False Dawn of Omar Khayyam, and; How to Find it Next Week"

Scheduled air date: 2002 Sep 09-15

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

...can sometimes be seen illuminated in the pre-dawn sky as a faint cone called the Zodiacal Light, or False Dawn.  It is most easily seen near Autumnal Equinox (September 22nd) in the Northern Hemisphere, but because of moonlight this year, this week will be the best time to look for it.
(Shown about two hours before sunrise for mid-Northern latitudes.  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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