M78 and a piece of Barnard

Messier 78 is another target that I’ve wanted to shoot for years, but is only visible in the Winter.  I’m currently collecting data on this target (very slowly) from the remote observatory in Australia, and I hadn’t planned to shoot it during this trip to California because it’s a rather small object for the wide-field telescope I brought here.  But I decided to try it anyway, hoping there would be some interesting stuff in the background.  Well, there sure is!  The red band on the left and upper left corner is a small portion of Barnard’s Loop, a huge semi-circle of hydrogen that surrounds much of the Orion constellation.

This was captured with LRGB filters on the ASI1600MM camera.  I cropped it quite a bit to get rid of the “amp glow” regions in the corners – a very effective, if not entirely satisfying solution to the problem.  Aside from the dark nebulosity around M78 (the bright region in the center), this entire area is quite bright, with both emission and reflection nebulosity.

I’m still looking forward to completing the M78 capture in Australia, as it should have considerably more detail on the main target, but this experiment worked out pretty well also.


About Greg Marshall

I am a retired electronics engineer and after a few months of enjoying my leisure I began to miss doing product development. My astronomy hobby always needed new solutions to unique problems, so I decided that whenever I came up with a good solution I would try to make it available to others.

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