NGC 281, also known as the PacMan Nebula, is an emission
nebula in the constellation Cassiopeiae,
which is an active region of star formation.
The stars of the young open cluster IC 1590, which is embedded in the nebula,
provide the radiation that keeps NGC 281 ionized. The most important contributor
of ionizing radiation is the binary star HD 5005 (the bright star seen at
the heart of the nebula), the primary of which is a massive O
star (visual magnitude 7.8). Dark lanes of dust are likely areas of
future star formation, while multiple dark Bok globules are places in which
stars are presently in the process of being formed.
|NGC 281. © IAC/RGO/D. Malin
||10,000 light-years (3,000 pc)
||R.A. 00h 52m 25.1s,
Dec. +00° 48' 23.6"
||LBN 123.17-06.28, C 0049+563,
Ced 3, CTB 7, DA 25, LBN 616,
OCISM 68, OCl 313, SH 2-184
AND STAR CLUSTERS