Dust gets everywhere

The whole point of the observing run is to try and understand dust in external galaxies, but we’ve already encountered dust in the Milky Way, and producing spectacular sunsets and tonight I observed another manifestation of dust – the zodiacal light, subject of Brian May’s thesis.

You can see it in this picture from the all sky camera, as the glow over on the right.


The glow is from light reflected off dust in the plane of the solar system, the left overs from the process that produced the planets. This was a particularly good display, reaching almost up to the zenith. It’s the best display I’ve ever seen, having dashed out into the wind. The wind is the major feature of tonight’s observing so far, being strong enough to force us to point the telescope away from it, and loud enough to cause the dome to creak and moan. All a little disturbing, but apart from that conditions seem good.

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