Hemisphere:  Southern  ·  Contains:  Mimosa (βCru)  ·  NGC 4349  ·  Part of the constellation Musca (Mus)  ·  The constellation Crux (Cru)  ·  The star Becrux  ·  The star Gacrux (γCru)  ·  The star α1Cru  ·  The star α2Cru  ·  The star αMus  ·  The star βMus  ·  The star δCru  ·  The star εCru  ·  The star ζCru  ·  The star μ1Cru
Southern Cross and the Coalsack Dark Nebula, 


            Cory Schmitz
Southern Cross and the Coalsack Dark Nebula
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Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L

Imaging cameras: Canon 5D Mark II


Software: PixInsight  ·  Binary Rivers Backyard EOS

Basic astrometry details

Astrometry.net job: 229938

RA center: 12h 45' 33"

DEC center: -62° 29' 20"

Pixel scale: 9.658 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 94.313 degrees

Field radius: 9.080 degrees

Resolution: 5634x3753


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
Canon 5D Mark II, unmodified
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens (at f/3.2 135mm)
Celestron CG5-ASGT, unguided
Calibrated with dark, flat, and bias frames

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



Cory Schmitz
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Sky plot

Sky plot


Southern Cross and the Coalsack Dark Nebula, 


            Cory Schmitz