Waid Observatory

Object: M78
Date: Dec. 26, 2005      -      Location: Margate, FL
Telescope: Intes MK-69   Camera: ST-10XME   Filters: Astrodon TruBalance
Exposure: L = 12 X 5 min. (Bin 1X1)   R G & B = 6 X 5 min. each (Bin 2X2)
Click on the image below to view at higher resolution.


M78 - Reflection Nebula in Orion


M78 1

M78 is a reflection nebula discovered by Pierre Méchain in early 1780.  Charles Messier added it to his catalog on December 17, 1780.  It belongs to the Orion complex, a large cloud of gas and dust centered on the Orion Nebula, and is about 1,600 light years distant.  Reflection nebulae, such as M78, shine in the reflected and scattered light of bright blue (early B-type) stars.  This gives the nebula it characteristic blue color and is essentially the same phenomena that produces the blue color of our sky.


Copyright Donald P. Waid