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The Details
NGC 281 in Cassiopeia
Astro-Physics 160 EDF Refractor at f/7.7
Astro-Physics 1200 GTO
Tru-Balance 5nm H-alpha, 3nm OIII, 3nm SII filters Gen 2
01, 03 November 2010 and 08, 09, 12 October 2011
Mount Wilson Observatory - Mount Wilson, CA
Ha 8h40m; OIII 4h20m; SII 8h20m - Total exposure time 21h20m
Maxim DL/CCD, CCDStack 2, Photoshop CS5
Field of View: 34’13" x 24’50" centered on RA 00h53m04.0s
DEC+56°36’13” (2000.0). North angle 272.5°; east 90° CCW from north

NGC 281, the Pac-Man Nebula in Cassiopeia, is an often imaged target of amateur astronomers. Lying at a distance of about 9500 light years from Earth, this spectacular emission nebula is noted for its deep, dark gash of obscuring dust and numerous Bok globules. At the center lies the small open cluster IC 1590, its massive young stars providing the illumination for the nebula. The brightest of these stars is a multiple system named BU 1 for its discoverer, the famed double star astronomer S.W. Burnham.

This "false color" image was created using a tricolor technique by assigning SII to the red channel, H-alpha to the Green channel, and OIII to the blue channel. A top luminance layer taken from the Ha data was used to complete the image.

The average seeing at Mount Wilson over the five nights that data was collected for this image was 0.8 arc-seconds!




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