Golin Gum was an Australian observer based at Mt Stromlo observatory, and who made extensive studies of the southern Milky Way and catalogued nemerous faint nebulae. Number 39 in his catalogue is located in the thin section of Centaurus that juts between the Southern Cross and Carina, just to the west of IC 2948 which is visible to the left in the above image. The smaller and fainter nebula below Gum 39 is IC 2872. The following image is a mosiac of the above image and one of the IC 2948 region.
The bright star beside IC 2948 is the 3.9 magnitude star, lambda centauri. This is a B9 sub-giant, some 410 lights years away.