M78 is the brightest diffuse reflection
nebula of a group of nebulae that include NGC 2064, NGC 2067 and
NGC 2071. This group belongs to the Orion Molecular Cloud
Complex and is about 1,600 light years distant from Earth. M78
is easily found in small telescopes as a hazy patch and involves
two stars of 10th magnitude. These two stars, HD 38563A and HD
38563B, are responsible for making the cloud of dust in M78
visible by reflecting their light.