Messier 78

78 final

Object:   M78 (NGC 2068) Date:               2019 February 3
Type:              Bright nebula
Constellation:           Orion Time & altitude:          20.45 UT   39º
Catalogue data: Seeing (5 high):                               3/5
            R.A:                5h 47m Transparency (5 high):                   4/5
            Dec:                0º 03 Telescope:     0.5m f4.1  Dob.
            Magnitude     8 Eyepiece       8mm Ethos                x260
            Size (mins)    8×6 Filters:            None


A favourite object, the only reflection nebula in Messier’s list. I see car headlights piercing the fog.  The nebula is roughly semi-circular and is brightest along the straight edge on the N side. The wider sky is milkier to the S of this edge, and darker to the N, implying much more extensive faint nebulosity. The two ‘headlight’ stars are surrounded by the bright glow which reduces as you move away from the pair. The glow is visible out as far as a third, dimmer, star. This dim glow extends even further out on the E side of this star.