Saturday, October 12, 2019



What's that?

The video arcade games Pacman and Ms Pacman were very popular when I was in college.  Alas, I was a poor college student.  Quarters were precious to me so I didn't actually get to play games in the arcade often.  

I had friends who were hooked on them and they could often be found in the student union basement recreation center spending their coins and developing their arcade skills instead of studying.  Who knows how that turned out for them?  Last Starfighter, perhaps?


Why the Pacman reference in this blog?

I was finally able to image NGC 281 last weekend and its results are recognisable as its "also known as" name, the Pacman Nebula.

Yep, there is a Pacman Nebula.

NGC 281, Aka the Pacman Nebula

This is the image as it first appeared.  Not much there and pretty disappointing.  If you squint and hold your tongue just right, you might see it.

Pacman Nebula, almost invisible

I almost didn't try to capture an image.  I couldn't see anything, at first.  I figured that perhaps the scope's alignment was off.

But, just in case, I had SharpCap capture and stack a bunch of frames while I went into the house for more coffee.

Here is what I saw when I came back to the laptop.

This stacked image is 50 frames of 8 seconds exposure with the gain set to 528.

Pacman Nebula, Pacman in Space!
It's Pacman, with his mouth open, munching on stars!

This nebula almost fills the entire field of view of my ZWO ASI294MC, which really explains why I couldn't see it with the ASI224, which has a field of view that is just a fraction of this image.

Pacman in space!



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