GranTeCan telescope and zodiacal light

GranTeCan telescope and zodiacal light

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Credit: ALEX CHERNEY, TERRASTRO.COM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: GranTeCan telescope and zodiacal light. This telescope dome, on La Palma, the Canary Islands, houses the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC, or GranTeCan), a 10.4-metre reflecting telescope. It has been the world's largest single-aperture optical telescope since it opened in 2009. Operated by institutions from Spain, the USA and Mexico, it is located at an altitude of 2267 metres. Zodiacal light is caused by reflection of the Sun's light off tiny dust particles in the plane of the solar system. The light (extending up from the horizon) is very faint, and is only visible on very dark, moonless nights.

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