(IAAC) Obj: M78 - Inst: TV-102 (102mm f/8.6 APO refractor)

Observation Poster: Ron B[ee] <ronby@home.com>
Observer: Ron B[ee]
Your skills: Beginner (< one year)
Date/time of observation: 11/17/01 12:30am PDT
Location of site: 117h 9m W (Lat 32h 43m N, Elev 2000 ft)
Site classification: Exurban
Sky darkness: 6 <Limiting magnitude>
Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: TV-102 (102mm f/8.6 APO refractor)
Magnification: 22x, 30x, 60x, 110x, 146x, 220x
Filter(s): none
Object(s): M78
Category: Reflection nebula.
Constellation: Ori
Data: mag 8.0  size 8'
Position: RA :  DEC :
Orion was 40 above horizon.  Rigel twinkling.  Before I called it for the 
night, the TV-102 went looking for M78. I had a note from observing M78 last 
year from my old C102-HD achromat as "disappointing".  Most certainly not with 
the TV-102! Small nebulosity was seen at 22x with bright center.  A hint of a 
double star in the middle of the nebula at 30x.  60x definitely revealed a 
presence of what looked like a "double star" lodged right in the middle of a 
fairly bright nebulosity.  I was stricken by horror at 110x 'cause M78 revealed 
itself as an eerie ghost with two eyes.  146x made the nebula brighter.  But 
the eerie feeling turned into panic at 220x when all of the surrounding stars 
were no longer seen and the ghost simply was staring at me with two bright 
eyes.  At this point, I got the feeling someone was looking at me behind my 
back ;-). I hurriedly packed up, called it the night.  I christened M78 with a 
new name in my Bee catalog as the "Ghost and Mr. Chicken Nebula" ;-). 
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