Zodiacal light 360° panorama

This mosaic shows a 360° panorama of the zodiacal light. All used images were taken during one night from two different observing places on Mauna Kea. The first observing place was optimal for observing the western horizon. Paralactic mount was set on this place and 120 s long exposures (F4, ISO 1600) were taken in the time interval 19:35 - 04:28 HST. It was necessary to change the observing place for observing the eastern horizon. It was not possible to set a mount at the second observing place and therefore 30 s long exposures were used (F2.8, ISO 3200).
The resulting image is displayed in ecliptic coordinate system using equirectangular projection (see the higher resolution image version or full resolution image version). The vertical axis represents ecliptic latitude. The horizontal one represents ecliptic longitude (upper scale) or elongation (lower scale), respectively. The upper scale has its origin in vernal equinox, the lower one in the center of the Sun. The shift of these two scales was about 13,6° during the observing night. The gegenschein in zodiacal light has elongation of 180°. Planet Saturn was very near to its opposition and therefore was inside the gegenschein (about 2.7° over ecliptic). Planet Venus (western elongation 35°) was shining near the eastern horizon.
It is worth mentioning that Subaru telescope building (lit) and the pair of Keck telescopes are visible near the western horizon (right) and lights of Hilo are (the intense yellow area) are visible under the eastern horizon (left).
Click on the image or on the following reference to display the higher resolution image version (1.0 MB, PNG format).

Time02. 04. 2011, 19:48 - 03. 04. 2011, 04:46 HST (local time)
PlaceHawaii, Big Island, Mauna Kea
CoordinateN 19° 49.37', W 155° 28.19', alt. 4230 m
ConditionsExcellent, clear sky
OpticsCanon Fisheye lens EF 15mm 1:2.8
CameraCanon EOS 5D (Hutech Ia modification)
Exposure56× 120 s (F4, ISO 1600) and 13× 30 s (F2.8, ISO 3200)
Copyright© 2011, 2012 Miloslav Druckmüller, Shadia Habbal

Miloslav Druckmüller
Institute of Mathematics, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic
Page last update: 20.9.2012