M 78 (NGC 2068) Reflection Nebula in Orion

Located at: RA 05 hours 46 minutes 45 seconds, Dec +00 degrees 03 minutes 30 seconds

Note: M 78 centered, NGC 2067 is across the dust lane to the west (upper right) of M 78, NGC 2064 is the small patch to the SSW (lower right) in this 8" image.

Size: 8.4' x 7.8' Magnitude: -- Class: Reflection

North is up

West to the right

Telescope:

 14.5" f5 Newtonian reflector

Camera:

 ST-8XME, self-guided, binned 1x1, temp -15c & -20c, camera control MaxIm DL 4.56

Image:

Lumicon Red filter, 240 minutes (24 x 10 minute subs), 02/8/9/2018; seeing 2.7-4.0 per CCDStack

Processing:

CCDStack 2.94.6355.18107, Photoshop CS5.1

Location:

 Rolling Roof Observatory, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 (+34d 13m 29s -118h 52m 20s)

Notes:

Still imaging around the weather ... I tried M 78 for early evening imaging, as I am working on NGC 3310, after it rises a little higher in the east/northeast. I only have two nights on M 78 for now (had to reject a few subs, as this field at this time of night is in a very busy LAX flight path). See the 8" version.

From the NGC / IC Project:

Contemporary Visual Observation(s) for NGC 2068

NGC 2068 = M78 = Ced 55u
05 46 46.7 +00 04.7
V = 8.0;  Size 8x6

17.5" (12/20/95): very bright reflection nebula surrounding two mag 10.5 stars 
with a mag 13 star involved at the S end.  Large, irregular shape, 6'x4'.  
Brightest along the north side which has a sharply defined slightly bowed-out 
edge with one of the mag 10.5 stars near the midpoint.  A brighter knot is just 
following this star.  Irregularly fans out towards the south and fades with no 
distinct borders but tapers somewhat at the south edge.

17.5" (2/1/92):very bright, surprisingly large, 6'x4'.  Surrounds two mag 10 
stars although the nebulosity extends further to E of these stars.  Also a mag 
13 star is embedded in the SE end.  Brighter and sharper edge gently curves from 
W to N side.  Appears to fan out to the SE where the nebula gradually fades into 
background.  Brightest in a group of reflection nebulae including N2064 7' SW 
and N2067 6' WNW.

8": bright reflection nebula, large, NW edge brighter and sharper, elongated, 
roughly rectangular, wide pair of mag 10 stars involved, striking.  Brightest in 
a group of reflection nebulae.

- by Steve Gottlieb
Historical Research Notes / Correction for NGC 2068
NGC 2068 = M 78.  See NGC 2067. - Dr. Harold G. Corwin, Jr.
Contemporary Visual Observation(s) for NGC 2067
NGC 2067 = Ced 55t
05 46 26.3 +00 05 43
Size 8x3

13.1": extremely faint, suspected reflection nebula 5' WNW of M78.  Sighting 
uncertain as only visible fleetingly.  [It's not clear from my description 
whether I observed the very low surface brightness circular patch NW of M78 or 
the brightest portion of the streamer pointing towards N2064].

Discovered by Tempel (I).  According to Corwin, "NGC 2067 is a part of the large 
complex of nebulae around M78 = N2068. Found by Tempel, neither the position nor 
the description makes it really clear as to which part of the nebula he saw. The 
first position I give in the main table is for a large patch of pretty low 
surface brightness nebulosity about 5 arcmin northwest of M78. But this is not 
the brightest nebulosity in the area. That is a knot about 3 arcmin southwest, 
the brightest part of a long faint streamer pointed toward NGC 2064. This, 
however, is much more east than north of M78, while Tempel says that M78 is to 
the south.  So, a bit of a mystery here -- which part of the nebulosity was 
Tempel refering to? I've stuck with the larger more northerly end of the nebula, 
but could well be wrong, so have also put the southern knot in the main table."

- by Steve Gottlieb
Historical Research Notes / Correction for NGC 2067
NGC 2067 is a part of the large complex of nebulae around M78 = N2068.  Found 
by Tempel, neither the position nor the description makes it really clear as 
to which part of the nebula he saw.  The first position I give in the main 
table is for a large patch of pretty low surface brightness nebulosity about 
5 arcmin northwest of M78.  But this is not the brightest nebulosity in the 
area.  That is a knot about 3 arcmin southwest, the brightest part of a long 
faint streamer pointed toward NGC 2064.  This, however, is much more east than
north of M78, while Tempel says that M78 is to the south.  

So, a bit of a mystery here -- which part of the nebulosity was Tempel 
referring to?  I've stuck with the larger more northerly end of the nebula, but
could well be wrong, so have also put the southern knot in the main table.
 - Dr. Harold G. Corwin, Jr.
Contemporary Visual Observation(s) for NGC 2064
NGC 2064 = LBN 939 = Ced 55s
05 46 18.4 +00 00 21
Size 12x2

17.5": very faint reflection nebula in the M78 complex, but clearly visible.  
Appears elongated 2:1 SW-NE, at most 2'x1'.  There are no involved stars.  
Located 7' SW of M78 and 4' SE of a mag 10.5 star.  The large listed dimensions 
refer to a very elongated strip extending NNE on the west side of M78.

13": very faint reflection nebula, small.  Located 7' WSW of M78 and 4' SE of a 
mag 10.5 star.  This difficult object is near the visual threshold.

- by Steve Gottlieb
Historical Research Notes / Correction for NGC 2064
NGC 2064.  See NGC 2067. - Dr. Harold G. Corwin, Jr.