Amazing Time Lapse video by Very Large Telescope
This time lapse video shows the sky spinning over the Very Large Telescope observatory in Chile, one of the finest observatories in one of the darkest sites on the planet. <set the resolution to 720p to see it properly unenpixelated. >
At 1:10 into the video, you see the Milky Way rising majestically over the mountains, and you can see a faint, whitish glow stretching diagonally across the field of view, at an angle to the galaxy. That’s called the zodiacal light, and is caused by the reflection of sunlight by dust in the plane of our solar system. It’s probably due to eons of collisions grinding asteroids into dust; they tend to orbit the Sun in the same plane as the planets. It’s actually a disk of dust, but since we’re in it, we see it as a line across the sky. It’s pretty faint, and you need dark skies to spot it. (DiscoverMagazine)
Don’t forget to watch the companion video to this, too. It’ll change your perspective. Literally.
Video credit: Stéphane Guisard and Jose Francisco Salgado/ESO.