Photographer's Note

The quintessential Australian Outback: dry, tough and full of adventurous spirit. Coober Pedy, the opal capital of the world, is one of my more memorable places in Australia. One of the reasons is its sheer distance from "civilization", which, combined with its weather, means that Coober Pedy's night sky is brilliantly lit not with man-made lights, but starlight... To me, a city boy, I could feel nothing but awe.

Here the photo is looking northwards to the town. Visible in the middle is the C-shaped constellation Corona Borealis and the trapezium of Hercules. Vega is the bright star on the right edge and Arcturus is on the lower left corner. The four-sided head of Draco the dragon is on the lower right while the triangular head of Serpens is on the upper left.

And to anyone who has visited Coober Pedy, you must recognize the silhouette of the blower sign. A blower is basically a giant truck-mounted vacuum cleaner that miners in the town use to suck debris out of their mine shafts.

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