Observing Log for

Session Details


54.33, -1.445



Conditions: Very clear to begin with, cloud built after 1am until there was 75% coverage at 1.15


M78 - Reflection Nebula

Located close to the belt of Orion, and part of the vast region of nebulosity in this area, 78 was fairly easy to find even without a star chart. Sweeping the area close to Alnitak, the easternmost of the belt stars, I soon located this small nebula, recognisable thanks to its comet-like appearance and the two stars which illuminate the gases responsible for this stellar sight. Quite dim, even on such a clear, moonless night, there was a definite bright patch around the two stars and then a hit of narrowing exactly like views of recent, dim comets.

M78 is my 27th Messier object, which means I am 25% of the way to observing them all.