Running Chicken Nebula (IC 2944)

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About this Image

Around the bright star Lamda Centauri there is an extended group of emission nebulae, (IC 2944, IC 2948) its visual appearance was the base to the popular name Running Chicken.
The famous Thackeray's globules - small dark clouds made of gas and dust that are typically condensing to form a star - are found in the center of this glowing H II region. Powerful ultraviolet radiation from the luminous, massive nearby stars is eroding the globules continuously. The radiation as well produces shock fronts seen in the lower part of this image.
The distance to IC 2944 is approx. 7000 light years.
North is down.

Find more information and a Hubble image here: 1.

Below you find a crop on IC 2944 in 50/100%.

clic for 100% size 1596 x 1218 (550 kB)

Technical Details


TEC-140 APO refractor with TEC flattener at f/7

Mount AP-400 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -25C, internal filter wheel
Filters Astronomik H-alpha (15 nm) + RGB
Date May 22, 2006.
Location Hakos/Namibia
Sky Conditions mag 6.5, high transparency, temperature 5 C,
Exposure Ha:R:G:B = 80:40:30:40 minutes (10-minute sub-exposures),
all 1x1.
Processing Image aquisition in Maxim DL 4.5; Image calibration and preprocessing in CCDStack;
Photoshop: H-alpha blended to red and L channel, curves, color balance;