Messier 78, Reflection Nebula (Copy)


Messier 78, Reflection Nebula An eerie blue glow and ominous columns of dark dust highlight Messier 78 and other bright reflection nebula in the constellation of Orion. The dark filamentary dust not only absorbs light, but also reflects the light of several bright blue stars that formed recently in the nebula. Of the two reflection nebulas pictured here the more famous nebula is Messier 78, in the image center, while NGC 2071 can be seen to its upper right. The same type of scattering that colors the daytime sky further enhances the blue color. Messier 78 is about five light years across and visible through a small telescope. M78 appears only as it was 1600 years ago, however, because that is how long it takes light to go from there to here. M78 belongs to the larger Orion molecular cloud complex that also contains the Great Orion Nebula and the Horsehead Nebula.


Optics:  20″ Planewave CDK20,
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount ME II
Camera: FLI PL16803
Filters: FLI LRGB
Dates/Times: February 2020
Location: Adler Earth and Sky Observatory, Jackson Hole, WY
Exposure Details: L=29x10min, 2:2 , RGB=25x10min, 4:4, total 104 images, 17 hr
Acquisition & Guiding: MaximDL/TheSkyX, Astrodon MOAG, SBIG STi
Processing: MaximDL, Photoshop CC2020