Planets of the Morning

By: Yuri Beletsky

 

Region: Americas

Site: Las Campanas - Chile

Date: November 2015

TWAN

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As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day, planet Earth's horizon stretches across this Solar System group portrait, seen from the southern hemisphere's Las Campanas Observatory. Taken before dawn it traces the ecliptic over the east with bright planets Venus, Mars, and Jupiter as well as Regulus, alpha star of the constellation Leo. The planets are immersed in the faint glow of zodiacal light, visible from the dark site rising at an angle from the horizon. Sometimes known as the false dawn, it's no accident the zodiacal light and planets both lie along the ecliptic. Formed in the flattened protoplanetary disk, the Solar System's planet's all orbit near the ecliptic plane, while dust near the plane scatters sunlight, the source of the faint zodiacal glow. Click the constellation icon above the image to see the labels. Yuri Beletsky

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