Oct 4, 2006
Chicago, IL
NGC 281 is an emission nebula (a nebula formed of ionized gases that emit light of various wavelengths) located in the constellation Cassiopeia. It is informally known as the Pacman Nebula due to its striking resemblance to a popular video game. It spans 48 light years across. Dark lanes of dust cutting into bright clouds of gas create the trademark “mouth” shape that gives the nebula its nickname.

Pacman is about 10,000 light years away. The light captured in this photo left the nebula back in the time when our ancestors were living in caves or simple huts.

This is a stack of 22 x 240 second exposures or about 88 minutes done the first week of September.

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