NGC 1663 -- Open Cluster in Orion
Two Clusters above the Shield of Orion
The two Open Clusters NGC 1662 and NGC 1663 could not appear more different in my
155mm Refractor. NGC 1662 is obvious and a beauty of a star cluster while NGC 1663 is
but a hazy ghost that I struggled to see. These two Open Clusters are technically in Orion but
are located very near the Hyades (in Taurus). It was easier for me to star hop from the bright
star Aldebaran (in Taurus) than to start my search using any of the stars in Orion.
The literature states that NGC 1663 consists of fifteen or so 12th magnitude or brighter stars
and another fifteen or so fainter stars. I could not confirm this. To me the stars were all blurred
into an agonizing mist that challenged my eyes and telescope. However, NGC 1662, two
degrees south of NGC 1663, was a pleasing swarm of stars that was a joy to observe and draw.