NGC 281, Pac-man Nebulae


NGC 281 is an H II region in the constellation of Cassiopeia and part of the Perseus Spiral Arm. It includes the open cluster IC 1590, the multiple star HD 5005, and several Bok globules. Colloquially, NGC 281 is also known as the Pacman Nebula for its resemblance to the video game character.

The nebula was discovered in August 1883 by E. E. Barnard, who described it as “a large faint nebula, very diffuse.” The multiple star HD 5005, also called , was discovered by S. W. Burnham. It consists of an 8th-magnitude primary with four companions at distances between 1.4 and 15.7 seconds of arc. There has been no appreciable change in this quintuple system since the first measurements were made in 1875.

RA center: 13.191 degrees
DEC center: 56.643 degrees
Orientation: 81.034 degrees
Field radius: 0.450 degrees


NGC281 – Pacman Nebula
This is a composite image using as luminance narrow band frames from Bologna and DSS POSS II data.
RGB data from a former image from New Mexico skies by Robert Gendler
Copyright: R. Colombari / R. Gendler / P. Venturi
Data: P. Venturi /R. Gendler / NASA JPL-Caltech

Author: Roberto Colombari