It’s been really cloudy lately in Central Florida, so instead of imaging from my driveway, I’ve tried using remote observatories. This particular image was taken using a telescope in Australia, using a service called telescope.live.
This is the “Coalsack nebula”, a dark cloud of gas obscuring the Milky Way in the Southern hemisphere. We’re looking straight into our own galaxy here, which is why there are so many stars. Most of the stars you see in the sky are nearby and above or below us, but when you look toward the center of our own galaxy, you just see this cloud of distant stars.
This particular part of the Milky Way is only visible from the Southern hemisphere; I would never be able to image this from Florida. Within this image are a couple of bright stars of the Southern Cross.
Below is a wide-field shot of the region the coalsack is in, as well as a close-up.