Coalsack nebula

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The Coalsack nebula (to right, under nearby star)
The Coalsack Nebula can be seen as the large dark region near the top of the photo.

The Coalsack dark nebula (or simply the Coalsack) is the most prominent dark nebula in the skies. It can easily be seen with the naked eye as a dark patch silhouetted against the southern Milky Way.

It was known pre-historically in the Southern Hemisphere and was observed by Vicente Yáñez Pinzón in 1499. The Coalsack is about 600 light years away from Earth, in the constellation Crux.