NGC 2186 -- Open Cluster in Orion
Two Eyes in the Mist
About halfway between the Rosette Nebula and Betelgeuse is the small Open Cluster NGC
2186.   A pair of 12th magnitude stars marks the center of this lackluster cluster.   From my
suburban backyard most of the cluster’s stars are below the resolution of the 155mm refractor
-- the view reminds me of a pair of eyes in the mist.  This sparse cluster is not often sought out
by amateur astronomers – it is cursed to be in the constellation of Orion which hosts so many
magnificent Deep Sky Objects that amateurs rarely seek out Orion’s less impressive objects
like NGC 2186.   Those that have sought out NGC 2186 have done so because it is listed as
one of the Herschel 400 objects.  I am a little surprised that its 30+ stars made the list – but if
it hadn’t, I would likely never have known about it.  And that would have been a shame.