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M78 - Reflection Nebula in Orion

RA= 5 hrs 46 min; Dec = 00 deg 01 min

Date & Site:

Imaged on 12/28/16; Little Blair Valley, CA

Conditions: temps in the low 30's; calm; very good seeing


Telescope: DSI RC10c

Guider: SBIG guidehead/Hutech OAG5

Mount: AP 1100 CP3
Camera: ST-10XME; CFW10; Astrodon L RGB Gen II filters



Exposures: 30 minutes each (10 minute subexposures) of LRGB for total of only 2 hours

The nebulocity in this region is reflected light from hot young type B stars that ignite surrounding hydrogen and oxygen to form the greenish/blue tint. This region also contains reflected dust.

Shown in the image (lower right edge) is McNeil's Nebula, a variable nebula re-discovered January 23, 2004 by amateur astronomer Jay McNeil. This peculiar looking object is currently classified as a cometary-type reflection nebula. The small nebula has been identified on images taken by Evered Kreimer in October 1966, but not in various other images taken between 1951 and 1991.

M78 is 1,630 light years away.

(image reduced to 60% of original size)

FOV = 23 x 15 arc minutes

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