Cookie consent

AstroBin saves small pieces of text information (cookies) on your device in order to deliver better content and for statistical purposes. You can disable the usage of cookies by changing the settings of your browser. By browsing AstroBin without changing the browser settings, you grant us permission to store that information on your device.

I agree
Contains:  NGC 281
Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
NGC281 The Pacman Nebula, 


            Randal Healey
NGC281 The Pacman Nebula

NGC281 The Pacman Nebula

Technical card

Resolution: 3372x2552

Dates:July 16, 2018July 17, 2018July 18, 2018

Astrodon BLUE 36mm - Gen2 E-Series Tru-Balance: 20x180" -10C bin 1x1
Astrodon GREEN 36mm - Gen2 E-Series Tru-Balance: 22x180" bin 1x1
Astrodon HA 36mm - 5nm: 25x600" -10C bin 1x1
Astrodon Olll 36mm - 3nm: 26x600" -10C bin 1x1
Astrodon RED 36mm - Gen2 E-Series Tru-Balance: 19x180" -10C bin 1x1

Integration: 11.6 hours

Darks: ~50

Flats: ~50

Bias: ~50

Avg. Moon age: 4.98 days

Avg. Moon phase: 25.97% job: 2204265

RA center: 13.183 degrees

DEC center: 56.652 degrees

Pixel scale: 2.222 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 189.265 degrees

Field radius: 1.305 degrees

Locations: Healey "Utahopia" Observatory, Kaysville, Utah, United States

Data source: Backyard


NGC 281, IC 11 or Sh2-184 is a bright emission nebula and part of an H II region in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia and is part of the Milky Way's Perseus Spiral Arm. This 20×30 arcmin sized nebulosity is also associated with open cluster IC 1590, several Bok globules and the multiple star, B 1. It collectively forms Sh2-184, spanning over a larger area of 40 arcmin. A recent distance from radio parallaxes of water masers at 22 GHz made during 2014 is estimated it lies 2.82±0.20 kpc. (9200 ly.) from us. Colloquially, NGC 281 is also known as the Pacman Nebula for its resemblance to the video game character.

E. E. Barnard discovered this nebula in August 1883, who described it as "a large faint nebula, very diffuse." Multiple star 'B 1' or β 1 was later discovered by S. W. Burnham, whose bright component is identified as the highly luminous O6 spectral class star, HD 5005 or HIP 4121. It consists of an 8th-magnitude primary with four companions at distances between 1.4 and 15.7 arcsec. There has been no appreciable change in this quintuple system since the first measures were made in 1875.

The nebula region is visible in amateur telescopes from dark sky locations. In his book Deep Sky Wonders, Walter Scott Houston describes the appearance of the nebula in small telescopes:

"There was a faint glow in the immediate vicinity of the multiple star, with an occasional impression of a much larger nebulosity...Its surface brightness was much less than that of M33 in Triangulum or NGC 205, the distant companion of the Andromeda galaxy."



Randal Healey
License: None (All rights reserved)


  • NGC281 The Pacman Nebula, 


            Randal Healey
  • NGC281 The Pacman Nebula, 


            Randal Healey
  • Final
    NGC281 The Pacman Nebula, 


            Randal Healey

Sky plot

Sky plot


NGC281 The Pacman Nebula, 


            Randal Healey