TNT wrote:Whoa! The sky is so...so different in the southern hemisphere! I can't recognize a single star, much less any constellations. But I have to say, this is one striking image.
Can you see a small black cloud inside the Milky Way? It is positioned so that if it fell "straight down", it would be bisected by the leftmost part of the telescope. There appears to be a bright star at the extreme upper right of the small black cloud. The cloud is shaped almost like a fat "comma", with a small extension pointing to the right. That dark cloud is the famous Coalsack
The star that appears to be inside the rightmost part of the Coalsack (but really isn't) is Alpha Crucis
, the alpha star of the Southern Cross. The rest of the Southern Cross is above and to the left of Alpha Crucis.
Look at the annotated image again and find out which stars are Alpha and Beta Crucis. Use them as pointers to move left until you come to a brightish, very slightly extended and very slightly yellowish light. That is Omega Centauri
, the great globular cluster.
Move to the left of the Coalsack, about as far as the width of the Coalsack itself. You'll come to a pair of stars, one positioned above the other in this image. These stars are Alpha and Beta Centauri
. Alpha Centauri, the lowest of the two stars here, is the nearest of all stars to us, apart from the Sun.
Now move to the right of the right of the Coalsack and the Southern Cross. You will come to a part of the Milky Way which is full of bright "condensations" and clusters. We are now in the constellation Carina. You can see a bright cluster that seems to hang "below" the Milky Way. That is IC 2602
, the "Southern Pleiades". To the upper left of IC 2602 you can see two bright clusters or condensations. The leftmost of these is NGC 3532
, a rich and large cluster. The condensation to the right of NGC 3532 is the extended Eta Carina Nebula
and Eta Carina
itself. Check out this picture
of Eta Carina, too.
A good portrait of both NGC 3532 and the Eta Carina Nebula is this one
.To the right of Eta Carina is another cluster, NGC 3114
. Eta Carina, NGC 3114 and IC 2602 form an almost equilateral triangle.
To the far right in this picture, you can see a very bright-looking star. That is Canopus
, Alpha Carina, the second brightest-looking star in the sky after Sirius.
To the lower left of Canopus is the Large Magellanic Cloud, of course. Note the intensely blue-green color of the bright cluster powering the Tarantula Nebula
, the R136 cluster
. It could be that we are seeing the blue-green OIII emission from the Tarantula Nebula, too.
Canopus and the Large Magellanic Cloud form an almost equilateral triangle with another cluster, NGC 2516.
To the far upper left in the picture, you can see a pair of bright stars. They are Saturn and Spica
. Spica, of course, is the alpha star of the constellation Virgo.
Finally, take a look at this picture
which shows you the Coalsack, Alpha and Beta Centauri, the Southern Cross, NGC 3532 (looking very bright here), The Eta Carina Nebula, IC 2602 and NGC 3114. Can you see them all? There is a bonus nebula here, a small pink "smiley-mouth" to the left of the large Eta Carina Nebula. The small pink nebula is the Lambda Centauri Nebula