M 78
Messier 78 and a little chunk of Barnard’s Loop. Click the picture to see a larger version

Wow, did I learn a lot this weekend.  This shot was not going to get on this site because it wasn’t good enough.  Turns out my processing techniques were the failure, not the data.

The red cloud at the left is part of Barnard’s loop, a huge “C” shaped hydrogen cloud that wraps around the lower 2/3 of the constellation Orion.  M 78 is the blue object towards the right.  Between it and Barnard’s Loop is NGC 2071, which, like M78 is a reflection nebula.  As I understand it, they are made of the same material as the dark clouds that surround them, but are lit up by nearby stars.

The picture is a stack of 46 images of 450 seconds each, taken at f/5.6 and ISO 1600 with the 400mm lens.

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