Herschel 400 Objects

NGC 2264: Open Cluster & Nebula (Monoceros) RA: 06h 41.0m / DEC: +09° 53'.7
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder

The winter sky is filled with complex regions of bright and dark nebulae. Monoceros is home to a few. The impressive Rosette nebula is one of my favorites. The nebulosity associated with NGC 2264 is very delicate. To see the full extent requires patience at the eyepiece. But it's worth the extra effort. The sketch at left presents a 63X view in my 10-inch, f/4.5 Newtonian. NGC 2264 is located in the northern half of the field. 4.7 magnitude 15 Monocerotis lies at the heart of the cluster and is shown about 15' inside the northern field boundary. A pair of 9th magnitude stars, separated by 5', stand 7' northwest of 15 Mon at the cluster's edge. 7.5 magnitude HD 47961 and two fainter companions form a triangular pattern about 8' east of 15 Mon. These also stand at NGC 2264's border. Another 58 field stars dot a landscape shrouded by a misty glow. This nebulosity is catalogued as Sharpless 2-273 (Sh2-273). Another triangle asterism, this one including 7th, 9th and 10th magnitude GSC stars, is positioned about 8' inside the southern field boundary. The elusive Cone nebula resides about 6' south of GSC: 750:1719, the brightest member of the southern triangle asterism. The Cone is a challenging object, which was not seen on this night.

NGC 2251 NGC 2266


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Revised: January 20, 2003 [WDF]