M78 in Orion

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The nebula Messier 78 (also known as M 78 or NGC 2068) is a reflection nebula in the constellation Orion. It was discovered byPierre 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 smalltelescopes 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.

About 45 variable stars of the T Tauri type, young stars still in the process of formation as well as some 17 Herbig–Haro objects are known in M78.
Imaging telescopes or lenses: William Optics FLT 132/925
Imaging cameras: Artemis Atik 383L+
Mounts: 10 Micron GM2000 QCI
Focal reducers: Tele Vue 0.8x Focal Reducer
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2, DSS, Fitswork
Filters: Baader Planetarium 36mm Red, Baader Planetarium 36mm Green, Baader Planetarium 36mm Blue
Accessories: Lacerta MGEN2
Dates: Nov. 30, 2013, Dec. 2, 2013
Locations: Sahara, Marokko
Baader Planetarium 36mm Blue: 7×600″ -20C bin 1×1
Baader Planetarium 36mm Green: 5×600″ -20C bin 1×1
Baader Planetarium 36mm Luminance: 11×600″ -20C bin 1×1
Baader Planetarium 36mm Red: 7×600″ -20C bin 1×1
Integration: 5.0 hours

Author: Stefan Westphal
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 25 Aug 2014