M 78

Blue pearl in Orion

Messier 78 is a reflection nebula in the Orion. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1780 and included in his catalogue by Messier in the same year.


recording data

object Messier 78
date of recording
30 January 2017, 15 and 17 February 2017
exposure 13.3 h, RGB (Data by André Graupe): 16x380s, 23x390s, 42x450s, Luminance: 467x30"
telescope Celestron RASA F2.2
focal length 620mm
filter Baader Luminance 2"
camera ZWO ASI 1600mmc, Canon 1000Da (André Graupe)
guiding 250mm guide scope, MGEN
mount Celestron CGE pro
AstroBin click here

Nameless nebula

The Nebula Messier 78 (also known as M78 or NGC 2068) is one of the few standard objects in the night sky that does not have its own name, and is only listed under catalogue numbers.


M78 is the brightest diffuse reflection nebula of a group of nebulae including NGC 2064, NGC 2067 and NGC 2071. This group belongs to the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex and is about 1,600 light years away from Earth. Easy to find in small telescopes as a hazy spot, M78 houses two stars of magnitude 10, HD 38563A and HD 38563B, which are responsible for the spectacular glow of dust clouds in M78.


About 45 variable stars of the T-Tauri type (young stars still in the process of formation) and about 17 Herbig-Haro objects have been discovered in M78.

Baerenstein Observatory

private observatory
Marcel Drechsler






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