M 36 -- Open Cluster in Auriga
M36 With Imagination
M36 is one of the three Open Clusters that Messier added to his famous deep
sky list in the constellation Auriga. With the unaided eye from a dark site M36,
appears as a blur and could be mistaken for a comet.  However, even in
binoculars this open cluster bursts into stars.  For some reason, few clusters
invoke the imagination as much as M36. Late nights and winter temperatures
(when best placed for viewing) might have something to do with it.  The more
famous descriptions include a frog, chair, warped cross, crab and a toy
pinwheel.  If I am forced to pick between these, I will go for the toy pinwheel
due to the streamers of arched stars radiating from the center.  Whatever
your imagination sees when viewing M36, its concentrated star field
embedded against the Milky Way is a fine sight.