For southern hemisphere observers, the constellation of Centaurus is a favourite, probably the equivalent of Ursa Major for the northern hemisphere. It contains interesting deep sky objects of all kinds, including one of the most unforgettable sights, NGC 5139. It is also home to a spectacular galaxy NGC 5128, the Centaurus A radio galaxy, and the nearest star system to the solar system, the alpha centauri system, which is a spectacular double star for small telescopes. A single night does not do justice to this constellation!

Combination of 10, 3 minute exposures using an H-alpha filter.
SBIG ST-8XE CCD. 35mm Nikon lens at f/4.

This image is centred on the southern portion of Centaurus, to the east of Crux. Crux is at the right-hand edge, while the two bright stars to the left of centre are alpha centauri (left) and beta centauri (right). These two stars are commonly known as "The Pointers" since they point towards the Southern Cross.