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Astr110 Photography Projects, Fall 2004

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M78, Katie Cooper


M78 is a reflection nebula. A reflection nebula is visible because of light from nearby bright stars. This light scatters off gas and some dust particles, creating the nebula. Most reflection nebula reflect blue light. M78 was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1780, and was added to Charles Messier's catalog later that year. M78 is part of the Orion complex. It is almost 4 light years wide.

In the middle of the nebula a star cluster is easily visible. This is the brightest part of the nebula. Other stars can be seen in the nebula. The fainter, speckled looking yellow parts of this photograph is where ionized gas is being reflected. There are some darker spots in the nebula.

Messier Objects, http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m078.html, December 7, 2004

Reflection Nebulae, http://fusedweb.pppl.gov/CPEP/Chart_Pages/5.Plasmas/Nebula/Reflection.html, December 7, 2004.


Right Ascension (J2000) 05 : 46.7 (h:m)
Declination (J2000) +00 : 03 (deg:m)
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 60 seconds in C, 300 seconds in BVR

November 25, 2004, 11:13 UTC