Reflection Nebula in Orion – M78

Interstellar dust clouds and bright nebulae abound in the fertile constellation of Orion. One of the brightest, M78, is in the center of this image, covering an area north of Orion’s belt. At a distance of about 1,500 light-years, the bluish nebula itself is about 5 light-years across. Its blue tint is due to dust reflecting the blue light of hot, young stars in the region. Dark dust lanes and other nebulae can easily be traced through this gorgeous skyscape. The area on bottom-left of center is the smaller reflection nebula in the region and is named NGC 2071.

This object looks more beautiful with a wider view with all the dark lanes and also another small nebula (that you can see at bottom left). For that I had to do a 4-panel mosaic (i.e. take 4 different pictures and join them together). Since this takes a lot of time, individual images were of smaller duration. That makes the picture a little noisier.

Each panel was shot over 385 minutes (25 images of luminances at 10 minutes & 9 images each of RGB color of 5 minutes each). For 4 panels, it was a total of 25.7 hours!



I had already shot this image of the center of nebula in 2016. This image was shot for much longer exposure and has better resolution, simply because of collecting longer data.

This image below was shot in 2016 over 13 hours (14 images of luminances at 30 minutes & 6 images each of RGB color of 20 minutes each).

Leave a Reply