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Word of the Day
Monday, June 06, 2016

Definitions for gegenschein

  1. Astronomy. a faint, elliptical patch of light in the night sky that appears opposite the sun, being a reflection of sunlight by meteoric material in space.

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Citations for gegenschein
At first it seems imaginary, a haze against the sky, hard to make out with all the stellar objects clamoring for attention, but as the night progresses you will see it is a faint disk. It is called the gegenschein, the counterglow. Andrew Sean Greer, The Path of Minor Planets, 2001
I'm not sure what I expected to see, but it wasn't the progressively brighter glow in an otherwise-empty sky. "It's the Gegenschein," said Belle. "What's a gegenschein?" I asked. "It's the sunlight backscattered from the dust in the ecliptic." Jack McDevitt, Coming Home, 2014
Origin of gegenschein
Gegenschein is a loanword from German, where it translates more literally as "counterglow." It entered English in the late 1800s.