At certain places far away from city lights, when the sky is clear, a wedge of soft light can be seen pointing toward the place on the horizon where the sun set. Zodiacal light, as it is called, lies along the ecliptic plane, or the plane of Earth’s orbit, and is named for this line’s twelve subdivisions - the zodiac.|
Also in the ecliptic plane is a large debris cloud left over from the formation of the planets. When sunlight hits these particles, which can be any size from microscopic dust to three-foot-long chunks, it is reflected like thousands of tiny moons.
Zodiacal light can be seen most easily two hours after sunset at the spring equinox. This is because it travels a shorter pathway through the sky, whose gases tend to haze and reduce the glow.