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Related to gegenschein: zodiacal light, zoanthropy, Zodiacal band


A faint glowing spot or region in the sky, occasionally visible exactly opposite the position of the sun, consisting of sunlight scattered by interplanetary dust particles. Also called counterglow.

[German : gegen, against (from Middle High German, from Old High German gegin) + Schein, light (from Middle High German schīn, from Old High German scīn, from scīnan, to shine).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Physical Geography) a faint glow in the sky, just visible at a position opposite to that of the sun and having a similar origin to zodiacal light. Also called: counterglow
[German, from gegen against, opposite + Schein light; see shine]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈgeɪ gənˌʃaɪn)

a faint patch of light in the night sky, opposite where the sun has set: thought to be the reflection of sunlight by meteoric dust.
[1875–80; < German Gegenschein counterglow]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.gegenschein - a faint spot of light in the night sky that appears directly opposite the position of the sun; a reflection of sunlight by micrometeoric material in space
light, visible light, visible radiation - (physics) electromagnetic radiation that can produce a visual sensation; "the light was filtered through a soft glass window"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Just recently, for the first time, I was able to spot the weak glow of gegenschein on a very clear night at my observing site in western Germany, one of the most light-polluted regions of the world.
There is also a very faint, but still slightly increased, oval glow directly opposite the Sun which is known as the gegenschein.
But the recovery of the Munich cache testifies to something else entirely: to the counterglow, the gegenschein of loss, to the promise and possibility in what was thought to have vanished but has come to light.
Brook regularly recorded the presence of the zodiacal light and the gegenschein. For example, in 1901 he saw the gegenschein on at least eight nights from Meltham and several other times in 1902.
The gegenschein and zodiacal band are occasionally visible from Alan Whitman's backyard observatory in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley.
On the evening of the 22nd, with the 41-cm [16-inch] telescope I seemed to detect an extremely pale and vague 'something' with about the same surface brightness as the gegenschein, that nevertheless moved with the expected rate in the expected direction during the 1 1/2 hours that I followed it." Three nights later Hale made a similar sighting, noting the proper rate and direction of motion over a two-hour period.
The result is that the gegenschein is occasionally visible from my backyard in October.
Each appeared as a luminous patch a little fainter than the gegenschein, and he saw them several times since 1956 from dark mountain stations in Czechoslovakia.
At night the atmosphere scatters light from three ever-present natural sources: starlight, the zodiacal light (including the gegenschein), and airglow.
During that time the zodiacal light bridge arched across the heavens, with the gegenschein plainly visible.
However, unlike Patrick Moore's Caldwell catalog (S&T: December 1995, page 38), my list includes a solar-system "object" (the gegenschein), as well as red carbon stars, double and triple stars, unique asterisms, galaxy clusters, and a gravitationally lensed quasar (July issue, page 108).