redshift astro
astrophotography blog / brian hitney

NGC281 - The Pacman Nebula


NGC281 gets its name as it resembles the video game character Pacman. This object is particularly striking in narrowband (currently on the to-do list), and is one of the few areas scientists have been able to study high-mass stars (stars much more massive than our sun). From NASA:

High-mass stars are important because they are responsible for much of the energy pumped into our galaxy over its lifetime. Unfortunately, these stars are poorly understood because they are often found relatively far away and can be obscured by gas and dust. The star cluster NGC 281 is an exception to this rule. It is located about 9,200 light years from Earth and, remarkably, almost 1,000 light years above the plane of the Galaxy, giving astronomers a nearly unfettered view of the star formation within it.

This image consists of 23 90s exposures taken with a Edge 11” SCT with Hyperstar lens (f/2), Canon T4i DSLR.

Resolution ........ 1.590 arcsec/pix
Rotation .......... -43.386 deg
Focal ............. 583.68 mm
Pixel size ........ 4.50 um
Field of view ..... 1d 20' 43.9" x 1d 27' 43.7"
Image center ...... RA: 00 52 27.467  Dec: +56 42 15.48