NGC 281 (also known as the “Pacman Nebula”) consists of a small star cluster (IC 1590) and a large diffuse emission nebula spanning 48 light years across.
It is a bright emission nebula located in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia, discovered in 1883.

The double star HD5005 in the center of the cluster is actually a quintuple system as the primary star has another 4 companion stars.
These relatively young stars cause the gas of the nebula to light up.

There are also several dark Bok globules visible in the nebula.

Previous/older images:

Aug 31, 2008 – Canon 20D (80mm TMB 1h 24m)

Image data

Object info
Name NGC281 – The Pacman Nebula
Type Emission nebula
Constellation Cassiopeia
Right ascension 00h 52m 59s
Declination +56° 37′ 19″
Distance 9.500 ly
Other designations IC 11, Sh2-184
Image info
Image date Aug. 10, 2012
Light frames 12x 4 min. RGB (each) unbinned, 24x 5 min. UHC-S unbinned (Luminance)
Total integration 4h 24m
Dark frames 10x
Flat frames 10x p. filter unbinned. Created with an A3 size Posterpoweruk flatfield panel
Bias frames 10x
Software used CCDOps, CCDSoft, Maxim DL, Photoshop CS4
Processing CCDOPS was used for focussing. Image Acquisition was done using CCDSoft.
All separate frames were calibrated, aligned and stacked in MaxIm DL5 Pro.
Photoshop CS4 was used for further processing – curves adjustment, levels adjustment, etc.
Noel Carboni’s toolset was used as well (Local Contrast Enhancement, Deep Space Noise Reduction)
(L)RGB combine was done in Photoshop.
Equipment info
Telescope Orion Optics SPX 10″ Newton
Corrector Televue 2″ Paracorr coma corrector (FL: 1.380mm f/5.43)
Mount Losmandy G-11 Gemini
Camera SBIG ST-8300M
Guide camera Atik 1HS Mono
Guide scope Celestron 60/700 Achromat
Autoguide software PHD Guiding
Filters Baader 2″ RGB + IDAS LPS-P2
Location Landgraaf, The Netherlands
Image comments

Framing is a bit off.