M78 Nebula

M78 (NGC 2068) is a reflection nebula in the constellation Orion. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1780 and included by Charles Messier in his catalog of comet-like objects that same year. M78 is the brightest diffuse reflection nebula of a group of nebulae that include NGC 2064, NGC 2067 and NGC 2071. This group belongs to the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex and is about 1,600 light years distant from Earth. M78 is easily found in small telescopes as a hazy patch and involves two stars of 10th magnitude. These two stars, HD 38563A and HD 38563B, are responsible for making the cloud of dust in M78 visible by reflecting their light.
M78 Nebula
M78 Nebula

Photo Details

  Telescope: FSQ106EDX (530 mm) Takahashi

  Camera: Sbig ST-8300M, Sbig Filter wheel, Baader 36mm round HLRGB filters

  Mount: NJP Takahashi

  Guiding: Self-guided

  Exposure: LRGB 220min, 50min, 50min, 50min

  When: February/March 2011

  Other information: good transparency, good seeing


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