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Zodiacal Light video, Nuisance Lights

Posted: 7 March 2021

14mm UWA lens

Saturday, 6 March 2021, was clear but windy during the day. The wind died down as sunset approached.

I wanted to photograph the Zodiacal Light this night when it was pointed almost directly straight up from the western horizon. Although the sky was somewhat hazy, probably from dust and other particulates stirred up by the recent strong winds, I decided to give it shot to make a video of this faint reflected light in our Solar System. The Zodiacal Light has been nicely visible on recent sessions in the observatory.

1826 MST: sunset.


1909 MST: I set up the Nikon D850 DSLR with a Rokinon 14mm UWA lens on a camera tripod.


1923 MST: a new extremely bright Light Nuisance has appeared in the neighborhood. Fortunately, it is not turned on all night, but it is still a good demonstration of Light Trespass and Light Pollution.


1926 MST: the Zodiacal Light was becoming visible. Astronomical Twilight would not end until 1947 MST.

1935 MST: using the D850 built-in intervalometer set for taking a photograph every 2 minutes, I began taking a series of photos of the western sky (f/5, 30 seconds, ISO 5000, White Balance 4000K, FL 14mm UWA). Here is the first photograph showing the Zodiacal Light. The Hyades and Pleiades star clusters are visible at the top of the photo, along with the planet Mars. Some sources of Light Pollution are also visible. These lights are just wasted light, wasted energy, and wasted money as they are visible beyond the property lines of the home owners and business owners. The photo was taken at a higher elevation than the lights so they are also considered as Light Pollution since they shine upward.

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2027 MST: the Zodiacal Light was getting lost in the haze

2033 MST: ended sky photography.

Here is the D850 photo of the Zodiacal Light at 1935 MST (the lights have been cropped out).


Click the arrow to view the video of 30 frames showing the Zodiacal Light setting in the western sky. Occasional light trails are airplanes.

2100 MST: took a Sky Quality reading and reported the result (21.08) to Globe at Night.

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