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​"Messier 78" - by Robert Fields (March 4, 2022)

Posted by Stellarvue StellarShot on 4th Mar 2022

Stellar Shot of the Week: March 4, 2022
"Messier 78" - by Robert Fields

Congratulations to this week's StellarShot of the week, which goes to Robert Fields and is stunning image of Messier 78. Even less well-resolved versions of this target are typically beautiful, but Robert really kicked it up a notch and produced an image with some of the best core detail we can recall seeing in M78. This region is actually made up of dark and reflection nebulae that are best captured under dark skies, and because these are not emission nebulae they have to be imaged with broadband filters. Without the help of narrowband filtration it means you're fighting light pollution (in Michigan) and the stages of the moon, yet despite all this we think Robert's image provides a perfect example of what this target can look like with the right talent and the right gear. His processing is extremely clean, with no noise to be found, and the color balance feels pretty textbook for this target.

Great work by Robert, and if anyone else shooting with a Stellarvue wants to be featured then please submit your shots by email (using or by tagging them with #stellarvue and #stellarshot.

"M78 is the brightest diffuse reflection nebula of a group of nebulae that includes NGC 2064, NGC 2067 and NGC 2071. This group belongs to the Orion B molecular cloud complex and is about 1,350 light-years distant from Earth. M78 is easily found in small telescopes as a hazy patch and involves two stars of 10th and 11th magnitude. These two B-type stars, HD 38563 A and HD 38563 B, are responsible for making the cloud of dust in M78 visible by reflecting their light." (#Wikipedia)

Image Details:

  • Scope: SVX 152 at f6
  • Camera: SBIG STL 4020
  • Filters: Astrodon LRGB (20hr total)
  • Mount: Paramount MyT
  • From Howell Twp MI
  • (