8A30.40 - Zodiacal Light

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Zodiacal Light
Scattering from Dust
Area of Study:
Focusable green laser pointer, fog or dust from a spray can.

Also see: 6F40.10 - Distortion Due to Atmospheric Scattering.

De-focus the laser to produce as large a spot as possible on a screen.  In a darkened room, turn on the laser and then spray the fog or sprinkle dust in the path of the laser beam making the laser beam visible to the audience who are sitting at roughly 90 to 120 degrees perpendicular to the path of the laser beam.

Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.