This image shows the Large Magellanic Cloud low on the horizon, behind the east dome of the Chiro Observatory. This dome houses the 300mm newtonian/cassegrain telescope that I used for most of my CCD imaging.
Visible in the image is a little light pollution from the city of Perth reflecting off the clouds that were covering it at the time. To the left of the Large Magellanic Cloud is a meteor that appeared while the image was being taken. There is a bright spot on the dome, close to the edge. This is not a flaw in the image. It is actually the reflection of Jupiter from the metal dome! This gives some illustration of how dark the skies were, as does the number of stars visible close to the horizon! The limiting magnitude of the image is better than 13. Not bad for a 10 second image!
This image took some time to set up and acquire. It shows the Southern Cross setting behind the east dome of the Chiro Observatory, with the 300mm newtonian/cassegrain telescope that I used for most of my CCD imaging. To obtain the image, I had to take the CCD and mount, along with very long power cables, the computer and a chair, several hundred metres through knee-high wheat that was soaking wet with dew!!!! Still, I was very pleased with the result. I was particularly intrigued by how bright the telescope was illuminated. Apart from starlight, the telescope was illuminated only by the very faint red LED's of the digital setting circles!!!
The Southern Cross is just to the upper right of the dome, with the Coalsack just above it. To the left of the dome is the large and bright open cluster NGC 2516.
Below is an animation of 5 images showing the Southern Cross setting behind the dome.