Jewels of the Southern Sky
Living in a well-populated place like Florida, I sometimes forget just how jaw-droppingly spectacular a dark, star-filled sky can be.
In its more remote corners, Florida has decent star viewing. You can make out the milky way and many of the brighter constellations. After a while, you start thinking that the seeing isn't that bad here. But then you visit a place with truly dark skies, and well, it's kind of like when you've been eating store-brand ice cream for a while, and then you have some Häagen-Dazs.
There are places on this planet that still have Häagen-Dazs skies. My sister-in-law's family live in such a place — the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. This photo was taken behind their beach house in Arno Bay, on the Spencer Gulf.
The constellation Crux, aka the Southern Cross, is clearly visible, as are the bright pointers that are often used to find it. The black patch is the Coalsack Nebula, an area of dust that blocks the light of the milky way's myriad stars.