Messier 78 - reflection nebula in Orion

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    Size: 2000 px      
© Velimir Popov & Emil Ivanov 2014

Messier 78 (also known as M 78 or 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 reflection nebula in the sky and belongs to a group of nebulae that include NGC 2064, NGC 2067 and NGC 2071. This group is part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex and is about 1,600 light years from Earth. Two stars, HD 38563A and HD 38563B, are responsible for making the cloud of dust in M78 visible by reflecting their light. The real extension of the nebula is about 4 light years. Within M78 there are about 45 known variable stars of the type T Tauri, that means young stars in formation, as well 17 as Herbig-Haro objects.


Image details:


Center of field RA 05:46:44(h:m:s)
Center of field DE 00:02:29 (deg:m:s)
Size 1.47 x 1.03 (deg)
Pixel scale: 2.65 (arcsec/pixel)
Orientation: Up is -72.5 degrees E of N
Charts and image details obtained from
Optic(s): ASA 12" f 3,6 Astrograph (ASA)
Mount: ASA DDM85
Camera: FLI MicroLine 8300 CCD camera
Filters: Luminance, Red, Green, Blue, Astrodon filters
Dates/Times: 23,24 December 2014
Location: Namibia-TIVOLI ASTROFARM, S 23° 27' 40,9" / E 18° 01' 02,2"
Exp. Details: L:9x10min, R:9x10min, G:9x10min, B:9x10min,, Bin2,
  Total Exposure Time - 360 min
More details: Dark and flat frames reduction,
Processing: PixInsight / PS
Copyright: Velimir Popov and Emil Ivanov 2014. All Rights Reserved
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