|Pac Man Nebula - NGC 281 - DSLR
Music: Wild Thing
The Pac Man Nebula, better known to Astronomers as NCG 281 in Cassiopeia, lies at a distance of about 10 thousand light years. A bright group of stars in the center illuminate the region of hydrogen
gas, glowing red. Dark clouds of dusk obscure some of the glowing gas, creating the "mouth" and "eye" of the Pac Man. Star formation occurs in these dense clouds of dust. Because the cluster is in
the direction of the Milky Way, innuberable stars litter the background and foreground of the image.
The image above combined 22 exposures of 10 minutes each (total exposure time 3 hours 40 minutes) using a Canon 6D DSLR (Hutech-modified) through an Astro-Physics 12" Riccardi-Honders
Astrograph. Stars appear brighter and more numerous than in the CCD image (below) because no separate H-alpha or Red luminance channel was obtained.
The image below, obtained 8 years earlier with an astronomical CCD camera, combined luminence exposures of 120 minutes red and 90 minutes Ha minutes with RGB exposures of 45, 50, and 75
minutes, for a total exposure time of 6 hours 20 minutes spread over two evenings. I used the ST10 camera with a TEC 140 mm refractor and a 0.67x reducer.