NGC 281 - The Pacman-Nebula
NGC 281 - The Pacman-Nebula:
Summer provides us with the glowing band of the Milky Way high in the sky (that is, if there are no useless illuminations or skybeamers around). In this area there are numerous nebulae, especially in the constellations of Cygnus, Cepheus and Cassiopeia. The latter one houses the Pacman-Nebula. In a distance of 9500 lightyears it embraces the open cluster IC 1590 with its brightest member (or rather "members", because it is a multiple system) ionizing the nebula and making it emit light.
Recent Images make it hard to comprehend this popular name for NGC 281 but stepping back a little, you can see the characteristic outline of the globular video game character from the 80s, on its hunt for cherries and raspberries.
The dark parts of this object consist of dense hydrogen gas, that is in an ongoing process of concentration, powered by its own gravity. During this process it heats up more and more until fusion starts - a new star is born. If you look closely, you might see suspicious gnarly structures - so called globules -, that may not take very much longer to become stars... maybe only a few million years more...
I took this image on the nights of 5th and 6th of September. It is composed of 45 single frames with 7.5h exposure time altogether. On the 7th, I tried to get some Frames, using my H-alpha filter but found the next morning that these kinds of images are far too noisy when the temperature of the camera sensor rises beyond 84°F. So I did not use those for this image. This really is a pity but I find the result is quite satisfactory without them.
|Exposure:||45 x 600s, ISO1600 CLS-CCD filter|
|Camera:||Canon EOS 1100D, modified|
|Telescope:||10" GSO RC, 1340mm (Astro Physics CCDT67 Reducer)|
|Guiding:||OAG with Lodestar and PHD|
|EIP:||PixInsight and PhotoPlus X6|
|Date:||September 5th and 6th 2013|