A 9 pane mosaic of IC 2944 - The Running Chicken Nebula

Click here for a higher resolution image of IC 2944 (1.6 Mb)

Click here for a higher resolution view of the nebula's core (812 Kb)

Click here for a high resolution image of the Thackeray globules and a comparison to the HST image (284 Kb)

Click here for a high resolution image of planetary nebula PN G294-0.1 (199 Kb)

Click here to see a different animal in the Running Chicken Nebula (1 Mb)



The Details
IC 2944 The Running Chicken Nebula in Centaurus
Astro-Physics 12" Mak-Cass f/8
Astro-Physics 1600 Mount with absolute encoders
FLI 16803 Proline CCD
Tru-Balance 5 nm H Alpha Filter
21/26 March and 5/8 June 2014
Las Campanas Observatory, Chile
Ha 9 x 5 ea x 1200 sec,1x1 bin (15 hour total exposure time)
ACP, Maxim DL/CCD, , CCDStack 2, Photoshop CS5
Field of view: 02°02' x 02°02' centered on RA 11h35m43s
DEC-63°16'03" (2000). North angle 359.6°; east 90° CCW from north
IC 2944, also known at the Running Chicken Nebula, lies about 6000 light-years distant in the direction of the southern constellation Centaurus.  Illuminated by ultraviolet radiation from an open cluster of massive O-type stars, this nebula contains many fine structural details including a collection of dark molecular clouds known as Thackerey’s Globules.  These interesting features, discovered by South African astronomer David Thackerey in 1950, hold the potential for becoming nucleation sites for stellar genesis.  

A number of distinct, named catalog objects make up the Running Chicken.  Gum 39 and IC 2872 are the faint nebulae along the upper right side of the image.  Gum 41 is the faint nebula in the lower left corner, while the bright, main body of the nebula is composed of IC 2944 and IC 2948.  The bright star just up from the center of the image is Lambda Centaurus at magnitude 3.11.  A small, round planetary nebula, PNG294-0.1 can be seen in the upper left hand corner.  Covering an area over 2° x 2°, IC 2944 ranks as one of the more spectacular objects in the southern skies.




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