NGC 281 – Pacman Nebula

 

NGC 281 – also known as the Pacman Nebula – is the most famous star forming area located in Cassiopeia. Embedded in dust and faintly illuminated hydrogen clouds, the bright parts of the cloud consist of ionized hydrogen, gleaming as stimulated by the ultra-hot blueish stars forming the core region of the Pac Man Nebula. To the left, some blue reflection nebulae can be spotted as well. Extremely deep images reveal that the Pac Man is only the core part of a hydrogen cloud easily extending beyond the boundaries of this picture.