« back to overview Nebulae Load higher resolution (1800 x 1200 Pixel)  (4500 x 3000 Pixel) Object description
IC 2944, IC 2948, IC 2872, RCW 61 and Ced 116 in Centaurus

Object description:

This image shows the nebula region IC 2944 southeast of lambda Centauri. The about 5900 light years distant nebula is being ionized by a group of hot O-stars (IC 2948) which are visible in the center of our picture. IC 2948 is one of the biggest associations of hot O- and B-stars in the southern sky and is also known as the Centaurus OB2-Association. The immensely high ultraviolet O-stars radiation heats up the surrounding gases and forces it outwards. Some of the more dense nebula areas are not yet 'eroded' and can be observed as small globules in the center of the picture. Also visible are IC 2872, RCW 61 and Ced 116.
« Click here or the thumbnail image for a comparison with the size of the Moon and here to load a large image with detailed object idenfication.
In IC 2944 those objects have been named after their discoverer A. D. Thackery. Otherwise such globules are also called Bok globules and are being associated with the creation of stars. However it is assumed that the globules in IC 2944 won't have enough time left to facilitate the birth of new stars. Beforehand the Thackery globules will most probably be eroded because of the high radiation pressure of the surrounding stars.

We had imaged these Thackery globules in much higher resolution with the PlaneWave CDK 17 at Rooisand Observatory. You can see the image here. Discovered was IC 2944 in the year 1905 by the american astronomer Royal Harwood Frost.

Sun Moon Solar System DeepSky Widefield Miscellaneous Spec. Projects