NGC 281 - The Pacman Nebula (widefield)

NGC 281, colloquially known as the Pacman Nebula, serves as a compelling subject for amateur astronomers engaged in the intricate field of astrophotography. Positioned in the constellation Cassiopeia, this HII region is a prime candidate for capturing detailed images that elucidate the underlying astrophysical processes. The interplay between ionized hydrogen, indicative of active star formation, and the surrounding interstellar medium, manifests as intricate structures within the nebula.

As an astrophotography target, NGC 281 provides enthusiasts with the opportunity to unveil the complex dynamics of stellar birth and the interstellar environment, showcasing the potential of amateur instruments in contributing to the broader scientific discourse on cosmic phenomena.

It is very common that this nebula is imaged at longer focal lengths due to its relatively small size. However, the wide field around it at 430mm reveals large patches of dust and faintly glowing ionized interstellar medium. At longer exposure times this results in a colorful and diverse cosmic scene.

Photographed from Bamberg, Germany under Bortle 5 conditions.

  • Category

    Emission Nebula

  • Coordinates

    RA 00h 52m 59.3s
    DEC +56° 37′ 19″

  • Distance

    9500 ly

  • Apparent Mag


  • Equipment

    Takahashi Epsilon 130D
    iOptron CEM70G
    QHY 294m pro

  • Exposure

    L: 40 x 180 s
    R: 20 x 180 s
    G: 20 x 180 s
    B: 20 x 180 s
    Ha: 104 x 300 s
    Total Integration: 13.7 h

  • Publication Date


We are social!

© Jan Beckmann, all rights reserved