Astronomy Picture of the Day

IC 2948: The Running Chicken Nebula

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#106455 by @ 19.04.2008 00:00 - nach oben -
IC 2948: The Running Chicken Nebula


Bright nebulae abound in and around
the expansive southern
constellation of

This one, cataloged as
IC 2948
is near the star Lambda Centauri
and not far
on the sky
from the better known Eta
Carinae Nebula.

Embedded in the reddish glowing
cloud of hydrogen gas, typical of emission
nebulae found in massive star-forming regions, is the energetic
young star cluster IC 2944.

Seen in silhouette near the top of the view are small, dark clouds
of obscuring cosmic dust.

Called Thackeray's
for their discoverer, they are potential
sites for the formation of new stars, but are likely
being eroded by the intense radiation from the nearby young stars.

Of course,
the center of the region suggests to some
IC 2948's popular name - The Running Chicken Nebula.

The gorgeous skyscape spans about 70 light-years
at the nebula's estimated 6,000 light-year distance.

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