Science: Captain's Hobby

Dutch Sea Captain Jan Drent, now 59, never imagined that learned astronomers would ever take serious note of his lifetime hobby. While studying navigation at the Kweek School voor de Zeevaart (a merchant marine academy), he heard about the zodiacal light, a faint, wedge-shaped glow that reaches into the sky near the plane of the earth's orbit. It is best seen in the tropics just after dusk or just before dawn. Astronomers now believe that it is sunlight reflected from small particles revolving around the sun like miniature planets, but in Drent's youth...

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