NGC 281 Central Region

NGC 281
Copyright Steve Cannistra

Please click here for a medium view (50%)

Position Angle:  +333 degrees
RA (J2000): 0h 53m 00s
Dec: 56 degrees 34' 40"

NGC 281 (aka the Pacman Nebula) is a region rich in HII emission as a result of excitation from UV light emitted by the central young star cluster IC 1590.  There are prominent Bok Globules in the central portion of this image, that represent cooler regions of hydrogen gas that are incubating a central protostar(s), which is not yet apparent in visible light.  More information about this region can be found at Rob Gendler's website.

Photographic Details:
-Date:  September 15, 2022.
-Imaging scope:  Celestron 9.25" standard SCT (native f10) with 0.63 focal reducer (spaced to achieve f6.1  = 1444mm effective focal length), on the Takahashi NJP Mount.
-Autoguider:  None.
ZWO ASI1600 (Gain 200, offset 40, Read noise 1.55 e rms), -20C, 3.8 micron pixel size, image scale 0.54"/pixel given above set up; Baader Ha, R, G, B filters; ZWO 7-position filter wheel for 2" filters.
-Exposure:  Total exposure 8 hours
(3 hours RGB (15sec subs), 5 hours Ha (60sec subs)); unguided dither in CCD Commander software every 8 subs (for RGB) and every 2 subs (for Ha); ASI1600 Gain 200, offset 40, Read noise 1.55 e rms.
-Post-processing:  NGC 6888- Calibrated, aligned, and stacked in Maxim, deconvolution in CCDStack, followed by DDP in ImagesPlus (IP).  Selective use of PixInsight for Pixel Math feature (to obtain "stars only" image- see Russ Croman's description of the "Unscreen" technique for details).  The final image was processed in Photoshop CS.

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