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Part of the nebula region IC 2944 with Thackeray-Globules

Description of object:

This image shows a section of the nebula region IC 2944 around lambda Centauri which lies outside the field of view. The about 5900 light years distant nebula is being ionized by a group of hot O-stars (IC 2948) which are visible in the 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 upper half of the picture.

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. For the higher resolutions the visible field of view equates to about the size of the area of the half moon.

«« Far Left: The picture shows a good portion of IC 2944. The bright star to the upper right is lambda Centauri. The shot was also made in Rooisand in 2009. The telescope used was a 6'' APQ Refractor with AP Reducer at 900mm focal length. Load the high-res picture (1280 x 960 Pixel). Additional picture information here..

«  Detail image of the Thackery Globules. Large ESO/Paranal Telescope.

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