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9/3/05 NGC281 The Pacman Nebula

NGC281 is a star forming region in Cassiopeia at a distance of about 10,000 light years from Earth. It is often referred to as the Pacman nebula due to it's resemblance to the voracious game character. The resemblance is nowhere to be found here as a wider field of view is needed. The dark lane at the top of this image is Pacman's mouth. In addition to the large red emission nebula that dominates this image, the area also sports a bright, compact star cluster (IC1590), and a number of dust lanes and dark Bok globules where new stars are forming. This shot was taken using a Hydrogen Alpha filter instead of a clear filter for the luminance channel. The HA filter picks up much more fine detail in emission nebulea. This method can cause issues, particularly with star colors often causing them to come out a pinkish salmon color. I made several attempts at combining the data before settling on this version.