Caused by sunlight scattered by space dust in the zodiacal cloud, it is so faint that either moonlight or light pollution renders it invisible.
The dust forms a thick pancake-shaped cloud in the Solar System collectively known as the zodiacal cloud, which occupies the same plane as the ecliptic.
The dusty disk, also called the zodiacal cloud
, radiates from near the sun out beyond the orbit of Mars, toward Jupiter.
They estimate that there must be some 20 trillion tons of dust in the zodiacal cloud
(twice the mass of the Martian moon Phobos), and that 100 000 tons of the stuff falls to Earth every year
said: "This is the first fully dynamical model of the zodiacal cloud