December

The Object of the Month of November is NGC 2264.

NGC 2264 is an open cluster in Monoceros and is also known as the Christmas Tree Cluster. It can be observed in small scopes and binoculars.

The shape of the tree is very easy to recognize. At the bottom of the cluster is 4.5 mag. 15 S Monocerotis and the top has a 6th mag. star.

Other dimmer stars make the outline of a Christmas tree. The christmas Tree Cluster is embedded in a large nebulous area including the Cone Nebula.

The cluster and nebula were discovered by William Herschel in 1785.

Finder Chart

 

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