NGC 281 is more fondly known as the Pacman Nebula. In normal wavelengths this image resembles(ish) the ghost-gobbling Pacman, but here I’m using narrowband SHO data so things are slightly different.
The centre of this bright emission region glows blue and green because of the dominant Oxygen and Hydrogen respectively. Toward the edges you can see the Sulphur better in the denser star-forming material surrounding the active centre.
A chunky dust lane slices into the object from our perspective. Infrared images from Spitzer reveal the detail and structure within this dust and gas, whilst the young central stars are best highlighted by Chandra X-ray image data.
This image was created from 19.5hrs of SHO data, in 1800s exposures. The data was collected at DeepSkyWest in New Mexico and processed using PixInsight and Lightroom.