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Proper NameLambda Centauri Cluster
Caldwell NumberAssociated with, and sometimes identified as, C100
NGC/IC NumberAssociated with IC 2948, the Running Chicken Nebula
Right Ascension11h 38m 20s
Declination-63° 22' 22"
Distancec.5,900 light years
c.1,800 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +4.50
Absolute: -6.72
DiameterApparent: 1° 5'
Actual: c. 110 light years
Number of Starsc. 40
Optimum VisibilityMarch / April (Usually visible from southern latitudes)
NotesThe Lambda Centauri Cluster is small open cluster of relatively young hot stars within the star-forming region known as the Running Chicken Nebula. Formally the designation 'IC 2944' used for the cluster also includes the nebulosity immediately surrounding it. The Caldwell number C100 is sometimes used for this cluster, but is also used more broadly of the entire nebula within which the cluster is embedded.

The Lambda Centauri Cluster lies at the heart of the nebula IC 2948, popularly known as the Running Chicken Nebula, and the energy from the cluster's stars illuminates the surrounding gases. The bright star seen here to the northwest of the cluster is Lambda Centauri, from which the cluster takes its name (although in fact Lambda Centauri is a foreground star, and does not belong to the open cluster that shares its name). Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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