Jeff Dai captured this photo in early October, 2016 at Lake Puma Yumco, Tibet, China. He wrote:
Have you ever seen the gegenschein? There’s no doubt it’s one of the greatest night sky naked-eye challenges, a rarely discernable faint glow that can be seen 180 degrees from the sun [for example, overhead at midnight] in an extremely dark sky.
Like the zodiacal light, the gegenschein is sunlight scattered by interplanetary dust. Most of this dust is orbiting the sun in about the ecliptic plane, with a possible concentration of particles at the L2 Earth–sun Lagrangian point.
Pictured above, this single, tracked photo recorded the gegenschein in constellation Pisces over Lake Puma Yumco, Tibet, China early this month. October–November are the peak viewing season to observe gegenschein.
Are you up for the challenge?
Thank you, Jeff! Read more about the gegenschein, or counterglow, from Atmospheric Optics.
Also interesting is the star Achernar, a far-southern star that Northern Hemisphere skywatchers rarely see. It is toward the bottom center of the photo, peeking just above the high Himalayan peak Gulha Kangri.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.