Venus and Zodiacal Light
The image above features brilliant Venus and the zodiacal light as viewed from the Kalkalpen National Park nearReichraming, Austria. On this cold and very clear autumn morning, nearby city lights are concealed under a layer offog (lower center). As a result, the sky was almost as dark as would be expected in remote Namibia. This area of Austria is one of the last locales in central Europe with relatively little light pollution.
Zodiacal light is now thought to be caused by dust particles scattering sunlight in the orbits of comets. In both hemispheres it’s best observed in late winter/early spring after sunset and late summer/early fall before sunrise. However, it can be detected before astronomical twilight (morning) or after astronomical twilight (evening) at other times of the year as well, providing that the sky is quite dark.