Starforming Nebula M78 (NGC 2068), a reflection nebula, with Open Star Cluster, in Orion

RA 05 : 46.7 [h:m]; DEC +00 : 03 [deg:m]; Distance 1.6 [kly]; Visual Brightness 8.3 [mag]; Apparent Dimension 8x6 [arc min]

Messier 78 (M78, NGC 2068) is the brightest diffuse reflection nebula in the sky, situated in the rich constellation Orion.
M78 belongs to the Orion complex, a large cloud of gas and dust centered on the Orion Nebula M42/M43, and is about 1,600 light years distant.

Source and more: SEDS and APOD.


December 27, 2008 21:45 - 23:41 UT.
Imaging: William Optics Zenithstar 80 ED II APO, f/6.8 [focal length 545 mm] with 5 cm extender, Astronomik LRGB filters; ATK16IC b/w camera, K3CCDTools.
Autoguiding: LX200 10-inch f/10 [focal length 2500mm] with Vesta SC3 webcam and Guidedog.
Exposures: Lum: 13x300s [1x1]; RGB 5x90s [2x2].

February 2 and 8, 2008.
Imaging: William Optics Zenithstar 80 ED II APO F/6.8 [focal length 545 mm], ATK16IC camera, Astronomik LRGB filters.
Exposures February 2 [RGB] and 8 [Lum]: L 16x150s [1x1]; RGB 5x45 [2x2]; all unguided.

February 6, 2008 20:44 - 21:10 UT.
Imaging: William Optics Zenithstar 80 ED II APO with Meade 3.3 Focal Reducer at f/3 [focal length 240 mm], ATK16IC camera, Astronomik LRGB filters.
Exposures: L 10x90s [1x1]; RGB 5x30s [2x2], unguided. [Note: exposures were too short, improvement required]