M 78

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2021/12/29 et 2022/01/02

Observation place
New Mexico


TelescopeTakahashi Epsilon 250 - 10 “, 850mm FL @ f / 3.4
MountParamount ME
Imaging cameraSBIG ST10XME - Non Anti Bloomin Gate (NABG) regulated at -10o Celsius
Image typeL (RGB) (Vs for synghetic green)
ExhibitionLuminance (10 x 5' bin 1×1), R (10 x 1' bin 2×2) and B (10 x 1' bin 2×2)
PretreatmentMaxim DL
TreatmentPhotoshop and PixInsight
Specific treatmentCreate a synthetic green image

Object description

Object typereflection nebula
Visual magnitude 8,3
Surface gloss12,24
Distance1600 light years
Diameter3,5 light years
Dimension seen from Earth8 ′ x 6 ′ of arc
M78 is a reflection nebula located in the constellation Orion. It is an interstellar dust cloud illuminated by young stars. It is 1600 light years from Earth and its diameter is 3,5 light years. It was discovered in 1780 by Pierre Méchain. It is the brightest diffuse nebula in the local group. Charles Messier added it to his catalog on December 17 of the same year.

Visually, in low light pollution skies, M78 looks like a faint comet. With binoculars it is just visible as a very small speck. Small instruments already allow you to see it very bright, and reveal the stars that highlight it.

In my image, which was taken in a sky without light pollution (in New Mexico), we see the M78 nebula in the center of the image. We can also see the very faint dark blue nebulae surrounding the nebula. We also see the NGC2067 nebula to the right of the M78 nebula which is separated by a dark dust cloud. We also see the NGC2071 nebula at the top of the image.
Richard Beauregard
Sky Astro - CCD
My impression "We cannot be alone in this gigantic universe"