Waid Observatory

Object: NGC 281 (The Pac-Man Nebula)
Date: Jan. 01-02-05, 2018   -   Location: Davis Mountains West of Fort Davis, TX
Telescope: Stellarvue SV102ED  -  Camera: ST-8300M  - Filters: Astrodon SII, Ha, OIII
Exposure: SII = 240 min. - Ha = 180 min, OIII = 360 min (Binned 1 X 1)   

Click on the image to view at higher resolution.


NGC 281


NGC 281 (The Pac-Man Nebula) 1

NGC 281, commonly known as the Pac-Man Nebula for its resemblance to the video game icon, is a HII region located in the constellation of Cassiopeia at a distance of approximately 9,600 light years.  The visible structure of the nebula spans a distance of approximately 60 light years.  Like in the Eagle Nebula, the Pacman contains several pillars and dark globules.  These areas are active stellar nurseries where new stars are being created.  Dr. Robert Gendler published an very informative article describing, in some detail, the Pac-Man Nebula.  It may be viewed here.

The image above was compiled from narrow band filtered exposures to create a mapped color depiction of the Nebula.  The standard Hubble pallet of SII to red, Ha to green, and OIII to blue was utilized for the image.  The stars were overlaid with data from a Near True Color (Ha/OIII/OIII) image.

A Near True Color image of NGC 281 may be viewed here.


Copyright Donald P. Waid