Zodiacal Light 2022

In 2022, the best dates and times for observing the zodiacal light are listed in the calendar below. The sky must be very clear with little or no light pollution. The specific times listed are for Dodgeville, Wisconsin (42° 58′ N, 90° 08′ W).

Here’s a nicely-formatted printable PDF file of the zodiacal light calendar:

January 2022
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19
Zodiacal Light 6:36 – 6:38 p.m. West
20
Zodiacal Light 6:37 – 7:37 p.m. West
21
Zodiacal Light 6:38 – 7:38 p.m. West
22
Zodiacal Light 6:39 – 7:39 p.m. West
23
Zodiacal Light 6:40 – 7:40 p.m. West
24
Zodiacal Light 6:41 – 7:41 p.m. West
25
Zodiacal Light 6:42 – 7:42 p.m. West
26
Zodiacal Light 6:43 – 7:43 p.m. West
27
Zodiacal Light 6:44 – 7:44 p.m. West
28
Zodiacal Light 6:46 – 7:46 p.m. West
29
Zodiacal Light 6:47 – 7:47 p.m. West
30
Zodiacal Light 6:48 – 7:48 p.m. West
31
Zodiacal Light 6:49 – 7:49 p.m. West
         

February 2022
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
    1
Zodiacal Light 6:50 – 7:50 p.m. West
2
Zodiacal Light 7:04 – 7:51 p.m. West
3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18
Zodiacal Light 7:10 – 7:51 p.m. West
19
Zodiacal Light 7:12 – 8:12 p.m. West
20
Zodiacal Light 7:13 – 8:13 p.m. West
21
Zodiacal Light 7:14 – 8:14 p.m. West
22
Zodiacal Light 7:15 – 8:15 p.m. West
23
Zodiacal Light 7:16 – 8:16 p.m. West
24
Zodiacal Light 7:18 – 8:18 p.m. West
25
Zodiacal Light 7:19 – 8:19 p.m. West
26
Zodiacal Light 7:20 – 8:20 p.m. West
27
Zodiacal Light 7:21 – 8:21 p.m. West
28
Zodiacal Light 7:22 – 8:22 p.m. West
         

March 2022
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
    1
Zodiacal Light 7:24 – 8:24 p.m. West
2
Zodiacal Light 7:25 – 8:25 p.m. West
3
Zodiacal Light 7:26 – 8:26 p.m. West
4
Zodiacal Light 8:14 – 8:27 p.m. West
5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Zodiacal Light 8:47 – 8:59 p.m. West
20
Zodiacal Light 8:48 – 9:48 p.m. West
21
Zodiacal Light 8:49 – 9:49 p.m. West
22
Zodiacal Light 8:51 – 9:51 p.m. West
23
Zodiacal Light 8:52 – 9:52 p.m. West
24
Zodiacal Light 8:53 – 9:53 p.m. West
25
Zodiacal Light 8:55 – 9:55 p.m. West
26
Zodiacal Light 8:56 – 9:56 p.m. West
27
Zodiacal Light 8:57 – 9:57 p.m. West
28
Zodiacal Light 8:59 – 9:59 p.m. West
29
Zodiacal Light 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. West
30
Zodiacal Light 9:02 – 10:02 p.m. West
31
Zodiacal Light 9:03 – 10:03 p.m. West
   

April 2022
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
          1
Zodiacal Light 9:05 – 10:05 p.m. West
2
Zodiacal Light 9:11 – 10:06 p.m. West
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

May 2022
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

June 2022
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    

July 2022
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            

August 2022
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25
Zodiacal Light 3:33 – 4:11 a.m. East
26
Zodiacal Light 3:35 – 4:35 a.m. East
27
Zodiacal Light 3:36 – 4:36 a.m. East
28
Zodiacal Light 3:38 – 4:38 a.m. East
29
Zodiacal Light 3:39 – 4:39 a.m. East
30
Zodiacal Light 3:41 – 4:41 a.m. East
31
Zodiacal Light 3:42 – 4:42 a.m. East
     

September 2022
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
        1
Zodiacal Light 3:44 – 4:44 a.m. East
2
Zodiacal Light 3:45 – 4:45 a.m. East
3
Zodiacal Light 3:47 – 4:47 a.m. East
4
Zodiacal Light 3:48 – 4:48 a.m. East
5
Zodiacal Light 3:49 – 4:49 a.m. East
6
Zodiacal Light 3:51 – 4:51 a.m. East
7
Zodiacal Light 3:52 – 4:52 a.m. East
8
Zodiacal Light 3:57 – 4:54 a.m. East
9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Zodiacal Light 4:14 – 5:14 a.m. East
25
Zodiacal Light 4:16 – 5:16 a.m. East
26
Zodiacal Light 4:17 – 5:17 a.m. East
27
Zodiacal Light 4:18 – 5:18 a.m. East
28
Zodiacal Light 4:19 – 5:19 a.m. East
29
Zodiacal Light 4:21 – 5:21 a.m. East
30
Zodiacal Light 4:22 – 5:22 a.m. East
 

October 2022
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
            1
Zodiacal Light 4:23 – 5:23 a.m. East
2
Zodiacal Light 4:24 – 5:24 a.m. East
3
Zodiacal Light 4:25 – 5:25 a.m. East
4
Zodiacal Light 4:27 – 5:27 a.m. East
5
Zodiacal Light 4:28 – 5:28 a.m. East
6
Zodiacal Light 4:29 – 5:29 a.m. East
7
Zodiacal Light 4:30 – 5:30 a.m. East
8
Zodiacal Light 5:28 – 5:31 a.m. East
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23
Zodiacal Light 4:48 – 5:12 a.m. East
24
Zodiacal Light 4:50 – 5:50 a.m. East
25
Zodiacal Light 4:51 – 5:51 a.m. East
26
Zodiacal Light 4:52 – 5:52 a.m. East
27
Zodiacal Light 4:53 – 5:53 a.m. East
28
Zodiacal Light 4:54 – 5:54 a.m. East
29
Zodiacal Light 4:55 – 5:55 a.m. East
30
Zodiacal Light 4:56 – 5:56 a.m. East
31
Zodiacal Light 4:57 – 5:57 a.m. East
         

November 2022
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
    1
Zodiacal Light 4:59 – 5:59 a.m. East
2
Zodiacal Light 5:00 – 6:00 a.m. East
3
Zodiacal Light 5:01 – 6:01 a.m. East
4
Zodiacal Light 5:02 – 6:02 a.m. East
5
Zodiacal Light 5:03 – 6:03 a.m. East
6
Zodiacal Light 4:35 – 5:04 a.m. East
7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22
Zodiacal Light 4:21 – 5:21 a.m. East
23
Zodiacal Light 4:22 – 5:22 a.m. East
24
Zodiacal Light 4:23 – 5:23 a.m. East
25
Zodiacal Light 4:24 – 5:24 a.m. East
26
Zodiacal Light 4:25 – 5:25 a.m. East
27
Zodiacal Light 4:26 – 5:26 a.m. East
28
Zodiacal Light 4:27 – 5:27 a.m. East
29
Zodiacal Light 4:28 – 5:28 a.m. East
30
Zodiacal Light 4:29 – 5:29 a.m. East
     

December 2022
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
        1
Zodiacal Light 4:30 – 5:30 a.m. East
2
Zodiacal Light 4:31 – 5:31 a.m. East
3
Zodiacal Light 4:32 – 5:32 a.m. East
4
Zodiacal Light 4:33 – 5:33 a.m. East
5
Zodiacal Light 4:41 – 5:34 a.m. East
6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

The best nights to observe the zodiacal light at mid-northern latitudes occur when the ecliptic plane intersects the horizon at an angle of 60° or steeper. The dates above were chosen on that basis, with the Sun at least 18° below the horizon and the Moon below the horizon being used to calculate the times. An interval of time of one hour either before morning twilight or after evening twilight was chosen arbitrarily because it is the “best one hour” for observing the zodiacal light. The zodiacal light cone will be brightest and will reach highest above the horizon when the Sun is 18° below the horizon (astronomical twilight), but no less.

If you are interested in calculating the angle the ecliptic makes with your horizon for any date and time, you can use the following formula:

\cos I = \cos \varepsilon \sin \phi-\sin \varepsilon \cos \phi \sin \theta

where I is the angle between the ecliptic and the horizon, ε is  the obliquity of the ecliptic, φ is the latitude of the observer, and θ is the local sidereal time (the right ascension of objects on the observer's meridian at the time of observation).

Here’s a SAS program I wrote to do these calculations:

References
Meeus, J. Astronomical Algorithms. 2nd ed., Willmann-Bell, 1998, p. 99.

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