|Observation data: J2000.0 epoch|
|Right ascension||00h 52m 59.3s|
|Declination||+56° 37′ 19″|
|Distance||9.5 kly (2.9 kpc)|
|Apparent dimensions (V)||35′|
|Absolute magnitude (V)||Unknown|
|Other designations||IC 11, Sharpless 184, Pacman Nebula|
|See also: Diffuse nebula, Lists of nebulae|
NGC 281 is an H II region in the constellation of Cassiopeia and part of the Perseus Spiral Arm. It includes the open cluster IC 1590, the multiple star HD 5005, and several Bok globules. Colloquially, NGC 281 is also known as the Pacman Nebula for its resemblance to the video game character.
The nebula was discovered in August 1883 by E. E. Barnard, who described it as "a large faint nebula, very diffuse." The multiple star HD 5005, also called , was discovered by S. W. Burnham. It consists of an 8th-magnitude primary with four companions at distances between 1.4 and 15.7 seconds of arc. There has been no appreciable change in this quintuple system since the first measurements were made in 1875.
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.
NGC 281 - Amateur Narrowband Image ([SII] = Red, H-alpha = Green, [OIII] = Blue)
- "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for NGC 281. Retrieved 2006-10-17.
- Leass, E. A.; Biller, B.; Dame, T. M.; Megeath, S. T. (2001). "An Expanding Complex of Molecular Clouds High Above the Perseus Spiral Arm". American Astronomical Society, 199th AAS Meeting, #91.16; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society 33: 1439. Bibcode:2001AAS...199.9116L.
- Houston, Walter Scott (2005). Deep-Sky Wonders. Sky Publishing Corporation. ISBN 1-931559-23-6.
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