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Running Chicken Nebula: Located in the constellation of Centaurus this huge emission nebula is a tremendous star cradle, where stars of different sizes are continously born. These young bright stars excite the surroundind gas and dust to glow in specific spectral colors. 

This deep image with 8.5 hours of total exposure was put together by adding three different sets of images taken with narrow band filters, representing emission lines of three atoms: sulfur, hydrogen and oxygen. Red represents the content of sulfur, green hydrogen and blue oxygen in the surrounding gas.In this way the turbulent details, i.e. shock waves, of the gas cloud are displayed in great detail.

Left of the nebula the Open Cluster NGC 3766 can be seen.

Please have a look at the Hi-res image to view these details.


Object Running Chicken Nebula in Hubble Colors
Category Emission Line Images
Designation IC 2944
Constellation Centaurus
Optics Takahashi FSQ 106 ED f/5 x 0.73 reducer
Mount Astro-Physics 900 GTO
Camera SBIG STL 11000M with internal CFW 5
Exposure 6 x 20min H-alpha, 7 x 30min [OIII], 9 x 20min [SII] Baader filter set. Maxim DL for image acquisition
Calibration Dark + Flat Frame
Guiding Meade DSI Pro II and Skywatcher ED80 as Guide Scope, Maxim DL as guiding software
Processing Maxim DL5, Photoshop. Color Code L:H-alpha/[OIII]/S[II], R:[SII], G:H-alpha, B:[OIII]
Location-Date Somerset West, South Africa - 25 Jan+19+21 Feb 2010
Remark J-P Metsavainio´s method of tonemapping was used for this image
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