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Hemisphere:  Southern  ·  Contains:  IC 2948, lambda Cen nebula
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Running Chicken Nebula (IC 2944), 


            Bruce Rohrlach
Running Chicken Nebula (IC 2944)
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Running Chicken Nebula (IC 2944)

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Skywatcher 200P 200mm/f5 NEQPro6

Imaging cameras: ZWO 1600mm Cooled Pro

Mounts: SkyWatcher NEQPRO6 Synscan GOTO

Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC  ·  AstroPixel Processor

Filters: ZWO OIII 36mm  ·  ZWO Ha 36mm  ·  ZWO SII 36mm

Dates:Jan. 3, 2019

ZWO Ha 36mm: 60x30" (gain: 300.00) -20C bin 1x1
ZWO OIII 36mm: 60x30" (gain: 300.00) -20C bin 1x1
ZWO SII 36mm: 60x30" (gain: 300.00) -20C bin 1x1

Integration: 1.5 hours

Darks: ~30

Bias: ~50

Avg. Moon age: 27.16 days

Avg. Moon phase: 6.20%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 3.00

Basic astrometry details job: 2636889

RA center: 11h 39' 26"

DEC center: -63° 26' 52"

Pixel scale: 1.668 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 53.946 degrees

Field radius: 0.622 degrees

Resolution: 2159x1596

Locations: Ventnor, Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia

Data source: Backyard


This version of the Running Chicken nebula imaged over an hour and a half night before last, and its open star cluster, is rendered using a different colour palette to the previous posted version below. Here, hydrogen alpha light emissions are mapped to 100% Red and 100% Green channels, the combination (of red and green) yields the yellow hues that map hydrogen gas distribution within the nebula. Oxygen III light emissions are mapped to the blue channel whilst Sulphur II light emissions are mapped to the green channel.

The very small looking and very dark spots in the top-centre area, embedded within the nebula, are Bok globules which are areas of densely concentrated dust and gas from which star formation may take place. They are named after Bart Bok (now that's a name). Bok globules typically contain molecular hydrogen, carbon oxides and helium and around 1% by weight of silicate dust, and most commonly are associated with the formation of double or multiple star systems.

The largest Bok globule in the Running Chicken nebula (IC2944), which is located just above the 2nd-down-from-top of the 4 vertically-aligned bright stars, is actually 2 Bok globules aligned along the line of sight, each is around 1.4 light years in its long dimension and collectively these 2 overlapping Bok globules contain enough gaseous material to form around 15 solar masses. Apparently in 2MASS images (2-micron all sky survey) 6 stars are visible 'within' the largest globule.

The universe is astounding !



Bruce Rohrlach
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


Running Chicken Nebula (IC 2944), 


            Bruce Rohrlach