Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/S.Wolk;
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NGC 281 is known informally as the "Pacman Nebula" because of its appearance in optical images. In optical images the "mouth" of the Pacman character appears dark because of obscuration by dust and gas, but in the infrared Spitzer image the dust in this region glows brightly.
Scale: Image is about 18 arcmin across (about 48 light years)
Category: Normal Stars & Star Clusters
Coordinates: (J2000) RA 00h 52m 59.35s | Dec +56° 37' 18.8"
Observation Date: 3 pointings from 11/10/05-11/12/05
Observation Time: 27 hours 30 min.
Obs. ID: 5424, 7205-7206
Color Code: X-ray (Purple); Infrared (Red, Green, Blue)
Distance Estimate: About 9,200 light years