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Another photo from my night in the desert in Western Australia, this is the duller side of the milky way showing the dark squarish “coalsack” nebula. With skies this dark however, and stacking the stellar regions for greater signal-to-noise ratio, the star density and brightness can be imaged intensely!
In this image you can see not only our galaxy, but also the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, which are actually separate irregular looking galaxies, though they appear to have classic “spiral bar” morphology that has been distorted. The source of this distortion is our much larger galaxy, the Milky Way. The LMC and SMC are small by comparison and have likely been twisted out of shape by the gravitational interaction with our own galaxy.
3 x 30s f2.8 ISO 3200 / Canon 70D / Tokina 11-16mm
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