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Messier 78
Messier 78 (M78) is a reflection nebula in the constellation Orion. It was discovered by French astronomer Pierre Méchain in 1780 and included by Charles Messier in his catalog of comet-like objects that same year. M78 is easily found with a small telescope as a hazy patch and features two stars of tenth and eleventh magnitude, which illuminate the cloud of dust in the nebula and make it visible. This photograph of the nebula was captured by the Wide Field Imager of the MPG/ESO telescope at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in Chile.Photograph credit: Igor Chekalin