The cosmic dust and gas clouds photographed by the European Southern Observatory are located about 6,500 light-years from Earth.

This year, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has a special gift for astronomy enthusiasts: it has captured a 1.5 billion-pixel image of a nebula located 6,500 light-years away that looks exactly like a chicken running across the sky. Interesting geometry.

IC 2944, also known as Caldwell 100, is an open cluster and nebula in the constellation Centauri. It is a huge cloud of dust and gas in space, where stars are born. There is enough material in the clouds to form 15 suns.

The image was taken by the VLT Survey Telescope in Chile and consists of 1.5 billion pixels. Its special feature is that the larger and smaller nebulae and stars are arranged in such a way as if a chicken wants to run in front of us or next to us.

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The image itself is 270 light-years across. They calculated that if the chicken had to travel this distance, it would take 21 billion years to get from one edge of the image to the other. By comparison, the universe may currently be about 13.8 billion years old.

The gas may appear pink in some places, due to the light emitted by the young stars present in it.

Naturally, ESO did not take a single image of this part of the sky, but rather combined the image from several shots.

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