SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics


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M78 (Reflection Nebula)

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Image Details:

Camera: SBIG ST-2000XM
Mount: Astro-Physics 1200GTO
Scope: TMB 152/1200 APO Refractor
Configuration: Prime Focus
Additional Optics: n/a (Prime)
Filter: Astrodon RGB I-Series Filters
Effective Focal Length: 1200mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/7.9
Exposure: {15 R, 13 G, 12 B} × 8min @ -20°C
Total Exposure: 5hrs, 20min
Date: 2/09/2008 10:08 PM PST, 2/10/2008 07:24 PM PST (Start)
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: CCDSoft
Focus: FocusMax
Dithering: CCD Commander
Guiding: Self Guided


  • IRIS: Registration, gradient removal
  • JimP: Dark subtraction, Flat field, Kappa-Sigma Stacking, White balance, ASINH stretching
  • Neat Image: Noise reduction
  • Photoshop: Neil's Trick, JPG conversion

Image Description:

This is M78, a reflection nebula n the constellation of Orion. This was shot over two really horrible nights, with awful transparency and a bunch of high clouds. This object requires tons of exposure on pristine nights to do it justice. The colors do look pretty cool though, even in this modest attempt. A higher resolution image is also available. North is up.