One of the nice things about the Southern sky is the ability to see the brightest, central parts of our own galaxy – the Milky Way – spreading across the midnight sky, from horizon to horizon, through the zenith. You can see four photos below, each stacked together from several individual exposures. (Click on the images for the – very much larger – originals!)
First, here is the brightest part of the Milky Way, looking towards the centre of the galaxy (and the Scutum, Sagittarius, and Scorpius constellations). The green glow towards the bottom is airglow near the horizon. (From 27 images with a Canon EOS 7D + Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, f/2, ISO1600, 10s.)
Here is a zoom-in on the galactic centre (average of 20 individual exposures taken with a Canon EOS 7D + Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, f/2.8, ISO1600, 10s).
Then here is the southern part of the Milky Way which is not visible from the Northern hemisphere, looking towards the Centaurus, Crux, and Carina constellations. (From 10 images with a Canon EOS 7D + Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, f/2, ISO1600, 10s.)
And at last, but definitely not least, here is the Milky Way from horizon to horizon (from Cygnus to Carina), with a bit less post processing. Do yourself a favour, and really click for the large version! (From 21 images with a FUJIFILM X100S, 23 mm, f/2, ISO 3200, 15s)
And remember, these images are just for fun, my observing run only starts tomorrow, and while it will produce a lot of interesting data, it will not result in pretty images like these!