Window, zodiacal light, setting moon

A popular hike in Big Bend National Park in Texas will take you to what’s called “the Window.” It’s a grand place to watch the sun or moon set. Here’s a night shot, complete with zodiacal light.

Photo taken March 19, 2018, by Gowrishankar Lakshminarayanan, at the Window in Big Bend National Park. Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon EF 24-70 F2.8 L Lens Exp: 24mm @ ISO 6400, F2.8, 15s.

Gowrishankar Lakshminarayanan wrote:

The Window, zodiacal light and setting moon. I was fortunate to travel with my astronomy group to one of the darkest night skies of U.S., the Big Bend National Park on the Texas-Mexico border. It rates 1-2 on a Bortle scale for night skies. In the photo, you’ll see a white light pyramid glowing at an angle from the right slope of the mountain wall’s silhouette and beaming upward. This light pyramid is the zodiacal light. The 2-day-old 3 percent crescent moon was setting between the notch formed by Carter and Vernon Bailey Peaks of the Chisos Mountain range. This view is known as the Window. The moon is glowing orange due to the atmospheric scattering. Just to the right of the zodiacal light is the constellation Pleiades.

I’d never seen this light pyramid before this trip, so this trip will always be the one I’ll remember just for witnessing this amazing phenomenon!

Thank you, Gowri!

Bottom line: The Window, zodiacal light and a setting moon at the Window in Big Bend, March 2018.

Read more: Zodiacal light glowing pyramid after dark

Deborah Byrd