The Pacman Nebula NGC 281 is a large emission nebula appearing near the orange giant star Schedar in the constellation Cassiopeia. It is located in the Perseus arm of our Milky Way galaxy.

It is informally referred to as the Pacman Nebula for its resemblance to the video game character of the 1980s. The mouth of Pacman in particular.

It’s a cosmic cloud of space gas. Stars may still be forming within the nebula’s large lanes of dark obscuring gas and dense dust. This nebula is associated with an open cluster of stars called IC 1590 at center.

The nebula is 48 light years across and approximately 6,500 to 9,200 light years from earth. 

I used three narrow band filters, H-a (656nm), OIII (501 nm), and SII (672 nm), from Optolong to capture the data. However, for this I only processed using the Ha and OIII to create this bicolour image.

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Image Technical:

Skywatcher Esprit 100mm F5.5 Triplet Refractor
QHY268M CMOS Camera (, 26mp, 3.76um @ -10C
QHY CFW3-L 7 position
Optolong Ha-R-G-B filters
Skywatcher EQ6 mount / Skyshed Pier (
Pegasus Astro Focus Cube
Starfield 50mm guidescope
Player One mono guidescope / PHD2
NINA 1.11 (nightly build) for acquisition
Processed in PixInsight
Seeing and transparency: average to good
Total integration time: 10hr 
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

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