281 is an open star cluster associated with a relatively large emmision
nebula (Sh2-184). This is another fine example of a star-forming
region that glows in the red hue associated with exctited hydrogen
atoms. The small, darker areas blocking the emmitted light are known
as Bok globules.
is also known as the Pac-Man nebula because, with the tilt of the
head and a squint, it resembles the video game character.