IC2944, HII Region in Centaurus

by on Jul.02, 2012, under Image Gallery

IC2944-RGendler-RHannahoe-web-small.jpg

Click photo for larger view.

The Running Chicken Nebula is a star forming region that is located in the constellation of Centaurus. This nebula resides some 5,900 light-years away and is almost 70 light-years wide. Hailed a cocoon of stellar birth, it is illuminated by both the star named Lambda Centauri and a cluster of really hot blue stars.  The illumination causes various types of dust and gas to reflect light, and this cloud in the sky is known as an emission nebula due to the traits that it emits.

Not only does the Running Chicken Nebula contain many common types of astronomical objects, but it contains very dense clouds of opaque dust. These clouds are so dense that not even light from visible wavelengths can escape them. We refer to these objects as Thackeray Globules. Thackeray Globules can range anywhere between 10 to 50 times more massive than our Sun, and can also span 1 light-year across. A protostar located within these globules is getting ready to produce nuclear fusion.

Data acquired by: Ryan M. Hannahoe
Data processed by: Robert Gendler
Exposure Time: 40 hours
Equipment used:
Takahashi FSQ106, Bisque Paramount ME, STX 16803 CCD
Location: Fair Dinkum Skies Observatory, Moorook – Australia


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