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Post Info TOPIC: IC 2944


Posts: 131433
IC 2944 / 2948 complex

Title: A deep and wide-field view at the IC 2944 / 2948 complex in Centaurus
Author: G. Baume, M. J. Rodríguez, M. A. Corti, G. Carraro, J. A. Panei

We employed the ESO MPI wide-field camera and obtained deep images in the VIc pass-bands in the region of the IC 2944/2948 complex (l ~ 294; b ~ -1), and complemented them with literature and archival data. We used this material to derive the photometric, spectroscopic and kinematic properties of the brightest (V < 16) stars in the region. The VI deep photometry on the other end, helped us to unravel the lower main sequence of a few, possibly physical, star groups in the area.
Our analysis confirmed previous suggestions that the extinction toward this line of sight follows the normal law (Rv = 3.1). We could recognize B-type stars spread in distance from a few hundred pc to at least 2 kpc. We found two young groups (age ~ 3 Myr) located respectively at about 2.3 and 3.2 kpc from the Sun. They are characterized by a significant variable extinction (E(B-V) ranging from 0.28 to 0.45 mag), and host a significant pre-main sequence population. We computed the initial mass functions for these groups and obtained slopes Gamma from -0.94 to -1.02 (e_Gamma = 0.3), in a scale where the classical Salpeter law is -1.35. We estimated the total mass of both main stellar groups in ~ 1100and 500 Mo, respectively. Our kinematic analysis indicated that both groups of stars deviate from the standard rotation curve of the Milky Way, in line with literature results for this specific Galactic direction.
Finally, along the same line of sight we identified a third group of early-type stars located at ~ 8 kpc from the Sun. This group might be located in the far side of the Sagittarius-Carina spiral arm.

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Posts: 131433
IC 2944

A new image from the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope reveals the Lambda Centauri Nebula, a cloud of glowing hydrogen and newborn stars in the constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur). The nebula, also known as IC 2944, is sometimes nicknamed the Running Chicken Nebula, from a bird-like shape some people see in its brightest region.


In the nebula, which lies around 6500 light-years from Earth, hot newborn stars that formed from clouds of hydrogen gas shine brightly with ultraviolet light. This intense radiation in turn excites the surrounding hydrogen cloud, making it glow a distinctive shade of red. This red shade is typical of star-forming regions, another famous example being the Lagoon Nebula.
Some people see a chicken shape in pictures of this red star-forming region, giving the nebula its nickname - though there is some disagreement over exactly which part of the nebula is chicken shaped, with various bird-like features in evidence across the picture

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See also Thackeray Globule.kmz

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