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Never too late.

The picture of the zodiacal light by Alexander Yuferev on page 108 of the September issue reminded me of a similar photo I took one evening in February 1963 at the McDonald Observatory site in West Texas while awaiting use of the 36-inch reflector telescope. To catch the zodiacal light I hastily attached a wooden bracket to flimsy tripod supporting a 6.5-inchdiameter, concave-spherical mirror and a 35-millimeter f/2.8 camera. The 12-minute exposure just after astronomical twilight produced one of the better photos of the zodiacal light I can recall.

The photo revealed that the zodiacal glow extends slightly farther north of the ecliptic than it does to the south. This led me to speculate that the meteoric matter may follow the plane of Venus's orbit, the nearer segment of which lies above the ecliptic in this part of the sky (near the Great Square of Pegasus).

Ewen A. Whitaker

4332 E. 6th St.

Tucson, AZ 85711

EDITOR'S NOTE: Stephen J. O'Meara wrote about the zodiacal light and its apparent shift from the ecliptic in our April 2000 issue, page 110.

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Author:Whitaker, Ewen A.
Publication:Sky & Telescope
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Dec 1, 2006
Words:183
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