Messier 78

imageimageFrom Wikipedia…

“The nebula 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 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.”

This is a composite of 78 stacked LRGB images with a total imaging time of 15 hours. They were taken with the Takahashi FSQ 106EDXIII telescope in Rowe, NM. I stacked and processed them with Maxim DL, Pixinsight, and Photoshop.

Orion Nebula Work in Progress

This time of year Orion is visible all night long. It rises in the Eastern sky at about 6:30pm, it reaches its highest point at an altitude of about 50 degrees in the Southern sky at around midnight, and it sets in the West at about 6:00 AM. Since it measures a little more than one degree square, you can see it with binoculars. This is a stacked composite of eleven 30 minute H-Alpha images. My goal with this image will be to enhance the details over time. With clouds in the sky, it can take awhile.