Zodiacal light has long been known to observers on the Earth, and it has also been photographed from the Moon (well, from its orbit).

But I've failed to find any example of a photo from other locations, e.g. Mars or Venus.

So I wonder, has Zodiacal light been photographed from any other location? Mars seems quite a likely option due to the rovers present on it (though light scattered by its atmosphere might mask ZL), but all search results are littered with Mars being a source of the dust for ZL rather than a place for observations.

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    $\begingroup$ This is a really interesting question! Since it asks about an astronomical observation from places where humans haven't been, it might be more likely to get answers in Astronomy SE, but it's certainly on-topic here as well. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Nov 9, 2022 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


The wikipedia article mentions observations made by a number of spacecraft:

The Pioneer 10 and Helios spacecraft observations in the 1970s revealed zodiacal light to be scattered by the interplanetary dust cloud in the Solar System.10,11[11] Analysis of images of impact debris from the Juno spacecraft shows that the distribution of the dust extends from Earth's orbit to the 4:1 orbital resonance with Jupiter at 2.06 AU, and suggests that the dust is from Mars.12 However, no other dedicated dust instrumentation on Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Galileo, Ulysses, and Cassini found an indication that Mars is a significant source of dust besides comets and asteroids

Lorgensen et al. (2020) actiually present a statistical analysis of

a number of luminous objects that were identified as impact ejecta–spallation products excavated from the body of the Juno spacecraft upon impact with an IDP traveling at ∼5 to ∼15 km s−1 relative velocity (Benn et al., 2017). IDPs detected in this manner are thought to range from ∼1 to ∼100 μm in size, representative of the dust population associated with the Zodiacal light (Leinert et al., 1990). Here we present the number of IDPs detected throughout Juno's traverse of the solar system, describe the distribution and orbital evolution of these IDPs in space, and show that this distribution can explain the observed variation of Zodiacal light with ecliptic latitude.

So while this does not present a direct optical observation of zodiacal light, it does correlate the distribution of dust (as measured by impact ejecta from dust on the spacecraft itself) with distributions that are consistent with zodiacal light observations.


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