How many of you know what the gegenschein is? How many of you have heard about the gegenschein? I have to admit that I have never heard of it and if I did I would have thought it to be just some unknown German beer (grin).
It didn't take too long for humans to figure out that the lunar eclipse was caused by the earth blocking the sun's light from hitting the moon. In other words, the moon entered the earth's shadow. Well the earth also leaves its shadow on other things, like interplanetary dust. On a clear evening, wait about fifteen minutes after the sun sets and go outside and look opposite from where the sun had set. If you have a clear view of the horizon, you should see a deep-blue, curved band of darkness that should climb higher at the same rate as the now invisible sun sinks lower. That is the earth's shadow.
Now, back to the gegenschein. I have never seen it, or if I did, I didn't realize what I was seeing. It is only viable in the middle of the night when the sun is half way from sun-up to sun-down. Neither will you see it if there is a moon, or if it lies too near the bright Milky Way. It is the very dim brightening of the sky caused by dust particles reflecting the sun's light back at us. Now, I am going to have to look for it. That is, if I can stay awake that long.
Below, are a couple of pictures that I found on the Internet showing the gegenschein. There is too much artificial light and never any really clear nights here where I live. So, I will have to look for it on a trip, maybe to the west Texas desert sometime:
Even though you now have all this useless information, just try to have a great day, you hear?