Ecliptic New Zealand
As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day four bright celestial beacons and a faint triangle of light follow the plane of the ecliptic as it arcs high through this southern hemisphere night skyscape. Seen on a July winter night from Lake Taupo on New Zealand’s North Island, the line-up features Venus, Regulus (Alpha star of Leo), Mars, and Saturn from lower left to upper right. Move the slider on the image to identify the planets and constellations. The delicate luminous glow of Zodiacal Light, sunlight scattered by dust along the ecliptic, also rises above the horizon from the lower left.