The Southern Cross and Coalsack Dark Nebula

The Coalsack dark nebula in Crux is an apparently massive and dense complex of dust and gas visible only in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s a mind-blowing sight to see in dark skies, and appears as a gaping hole in the Milky Way, bordered closely by the beautiful constellation of Crux, or the Southern Cross.

Captured on a recent astrophotography trip 2014-03-30 in the Karoo Desert of South Africa, near the small town of Sutherland.

Image Details

14x5min ISO800
Calibrated with dark, flat, and bias frames


Canon 5D Mark II, unmodified
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens (at f/3.2 135mm)
Celestron CG5-ASGT, unguided

Software Used

Data acquired with BackyardEOS
Calibrated, aligned, and integrated with PIxInsight
Post-processed with PixInsight and Lightroom

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