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

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