The Running Chicken Nebula
In Narrowband Mapped Colour
Astronomers truly see the most peculiar things in the sky, and this is a case in point. Affectionately known as the Running Chicken Nebula (or if you prefer a more proper-sounding name, the Lambda Centauri Nebula), IC 2944 is an emission nebula and star forming region located in the constellation of Centaurus. Peering into the nebula, we see several Bok Globules which are little dark nebulae which are formed from coalescing cold molecular gas. Such Bok Globules contain rich star-forming material, which would likely coalesce under gravity into newborn stars.
A small planetary nebula, PK 294-0.1 can also be seen in this field of view. An inset on the second image shows the planetary nebula in greater detail. It's blue-green colour comes from oxygen and hydrogen ionisation.
I have also shot this object in true colour, which you may view on this link here.
Date(s): Jan & Feb 19
Telescope: Astro-Physics 130 GTX at f/4.5
Camera: Atik 16200M, Baader & Chroma Filters
Mount: Losmandy G11/G2
Exposure (min): SII - 165, HII - 200, OIII - 195 (Total 9.3 hours)