Diffuse nebula with open cluster IC 1590
Located at a distance of 10,000 light years, NGC 281 is said to be an area of active star formation. The open star cluster IC 1590, which has formed only in the last few million years, can be seen imbedded within the field of this image. The brightest members of IC 1590 provide the energy that helps ionize the gas of NGC 281. Astronomers believe that the dark lanes of dust within the nebula are likely areas of future star formation. Also seen in this image are multiple dark "Bok globules" visible against the bright nebula which astronomers believe are areas of current star formation.
September 17, 2004
Luminance - 42 min, R - 36 min., G - 36 min., B - 36 min.
Grandview Campground, Inyo National Forest - Near Bishop California.
Optics - Takahashi Epsilon 160 f/3.3
Mount - Astro-Physics 1200 GTO
Camera - SBIG ST-2000XM