NGC 281 The Pacman Nebula

NGC 281, Pacman Nebula, IC 1590,

NGC 281 Pacman Nebula SHO Version

Distance: 9,500 Light Years
Magnitude: 8.5
Size: 35 Arc-minutes
Age: Approx. 4 million years
Telescope: Takahashi TOA-130
Camera: QSI 683
Mount: AP 1100
Exposures: L 20×600 Bin 1, SII 20×900, Ha 20×900, OIII 20×900

NGC 281, the Pacman nebula, is an open star cluster plus emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. NGC 281 is a desirable object for study because it sits above the galactic plane and this eliminates a lot of interference from galactic dust. It also contains many high mass stars whose ultraviolet radiation is shaping the denser gaseous areas and also helping to provide initiating forces to star formation. The gas and dust that give the Pacman nebula it shape are illuminated by several high mass stars in the open cluster IC 1590. Although IC 1590 contains several hundred stars, it is the massive Type O stars that help shape the dark nebula that forms the mouth of the Pacman feature. Additionally, the ultraviolet radiation from the cluster helps shape the perimeter trunk shaped dust clouds on the left side of my image. These areas are thought to be star forming regions. Also present in the region are several Bok globules in the central area of the nebula. Bok globules are dense areas of dust and gas that are thought to be active star forming regions. It was only recently that near IR images found star formation inside some of these globules. This was previously impossible to determine using visual means because the regions were too dense for optical study.

NGC 281, Pacman Nebula, IC 1590

NGC 281 Pacman Nebula LRGB Version

Telescope: Takahashi TOA-130
Camera: QSI 683
Mount: AP 1100
Exposures: L 20×600 Bin 1 RGB 20×300 Bin 2

NGC 281, Pacman Nebula, IC 1590

NGC 281 Pacman Nebula LRHaGB Version

Telescope: Takahashi TOA-130
Camera: QSI 683
Mount: AP 1100
Exposures: L 20×600 Bin 1 RGB 20×300 Bin 2 Ha 20×900 Bin 1

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