Zodiacal light is a fascinating phenomenon best seen in early April.
April 2021 is shaping up to be an exciting time for astronomy aficionados and photographers alike. There’s a handful of beautiful celestial phenomena coming to Bay Area skies this spring, and the first is “zodiacal light,” which is most visible in early April.
Zodiacal Light, sometimes called “false dawn” or “false dusk,” is a hazy pyramid of light currently visible just after sunset. It’s created by interplanetary dust particles reflecting the sun’s light, causing a glow that extends upwards in a cone-like shape.
Zodiacal light is back for the next 2 weeks. look for it in the evening twilight. If you miss it, you’ll have to wait for the fall. pic.twitter.com/aTaxgKWXx4
— Astronomy Regina (@AstronomyRegina) March 29, 2021
According to EarthSky.com, you may witness zodiacal light in the Northern Hemisphere just after twilight from late February to early May, and just before dawn from late August through early November.
You may have seen zodiacal light without realizing it, thinking it’s light pollution from a nearby town, or lingering twilight on the horizon. But keep an eye out for that characteristic cone shape just after twilight, because it may have been zodiacal light all along.
Try to catch this spectacle somewhere devoid of city lights. If you live in San Francisco, take a look at this light pollution map to see where you might be able to escape to for an opportunity to catch the sky at its clearest.
[Featured Image: Shutterstock]