Gegenschein Above the VLT (image) ESO Share Print E-Mail Caption At Paranal, home of ESO's Very Large Telescope, the sky is so dark that the famous and extremely difficult to observe Gegenschein (or "counter shine") can be seen here in its full glory. This is a faint brightening of the night sky in the region of the ecliptic directly opposite the Sun, caused by reflection of sunlight by interplanetary dust in the Solar system. The Gegenschein is seen in this image as a band running diagonally from the top left to lower right. The image was obtained by Yuri Beletsky in October 2007 using a digital camera equipped with a 10-mm wide-angle lens and installed on a portable equatorial mount. The total exposure time was about 45 min. The weather conditions during the observations were excellent: the sky transparency was close to perfect, which allowed Yuri to capture very faint details of the Gegenschein and reveal its fine structure. Credit Image copyright Yuri Beletsky (ESO). Usage Restrictions All images are copyright their authors and can only be reproduced with their permissions. Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.