Contact: Richard Hook
Caption: This new image from the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope shows the Running Chicken Nebula, a cloud of gas and newborn stars that lies around 6500 light-years away from us in the constellation of Centaurus (the Centaur). Officially called IC 2944, or the Lambda Centauri Nebula, its strange nickname comes from the bird-like shape of its brightest region. The star Lambda Centauri itself lies just outside the field of view.
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