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The Coalsack nebula | by Juan-Carlos Munoz-Mateos
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The Coalsack nebula

Every time I go to sleep after a long night of observing at Paranal, I always look up to the sky one last time before entering our lodging. You never know what surprises the sky might have in store! In my last shift in February I spotted this lovely sight by chance, with the Milky Way arching symmetrically relative to two of the walls of one of the entrance corridors. The dark patch silhouetted against the bright Milky Way is the Coalsack Nebula, a cloud full of interstellar dust. On top of it is the Southern Cross. The two bright stars to the left are Alpha and Beta Centauri (yellow and blue, respectively). Canon 6D + Rokinon 24 mm at f/2, 30 secs, ISO3200, single shot.

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Taken on December 22, 2017