IC 2948
The Running Chicken Nebula

Combination of 20, 3 minute exposures using an H-alpha filter.
SBIG ST-8XE CCD. 5" f/5 refractor at prime focus.

About half way between the eta carina nebula and the Southern Cross, lies a faint nebula IC 2944. Hans Vernberg in his "Atlas of Deep Sky Splendors" calls this object, the "Running Chicken Nebula", as does "The Sky". However "The Sky" uses the designation to refer only to the portion of the nebula actually around lambda centauri. The larger patch to the left, is designated by "TheSky" as IC 2948. MegaStar however, gives IC 2944 as an open cluster, and indicates that it is surrounded by a reflection nebula, listed as IC 2948.

The nebula is visible without too much difficulty with a 10" telescope under dark skies. The biggest problem with observing it is the light from the 3rd magnitude star lambda centauri, which is imbedded within the nebula.

Combination of 13, 3 minute images using an H-alpha filter.
SBIG STL-1001E CCD. 5" f/5 refractor at prime focus.

The three bright patches of nebulosity to the right are, from the top, Gum 39, IC 2872, and at the bottom, Gum 41. In between Gum 41 and IC 2872, lost amongst the background stars, is the scattered open cluster, RU 94.