Manilius, thus, seems to argue for a distinct region of the heavens in the role of 'command-centre' of the universe: the zodiacal band. All the same, one should bear in mind that his very portrayal of the zodiac as hegemonic region still leaves open the possibility that the Sun stands as the definitive 'command-centre'; that is, Manilius, as Cleomedes above, could consider the Sun as the ultimate providential administrator within the heavens (20).
The idea of the Sun as the crucial spot (or the hegemonikon) of an organic structure crops us in the passages where Manilius interconnects the Sun and the zodiacal band (praecordia mundi).
I commented in the paragraphs above the passages where the Sun harmonizes (Phoebo modulante) the zodiacal band exercising control (moderatur habenas) over the planets.
For the zodiacal light, the zodiacal band, and the gegenschein are glows created by sunlight that is reflected and scattered by dust particles, typically of submillimeter or micron size, lying in or near the plane of the inner solar system.
The farther one looks from the Sun, the dimmer the zodiacal light gets, until it tapers into the exceedingly faint zodiacal band. That's because the amount of scattered light seen depends on the viewing angle and the line-of-sight density of the cloud.
"When first seen in the fall," he wrote in the Astronomical Journal, "the Gegenschein is large and roundish, and does not seem to be connected to any zodiacal bands. Later, after passing [right ascension] [0.sup.h], it becomes very much elongated along the ecliptic, and is connected with the evening and the morning by a narrow zodiacal band."