NGC 2204 -- Open Cluster in Canis Major
NGC 2204 -- Faint but Rich in Stars
Just over a degree SE of the bright star Mirzam (Beta Canis Majoris) is the faint but rich
Open Cluster NGC 2204.  In the six-inch refractor from my suburban backyard in appears
as a three-star-triangle of 9th magnitude stars, that upon close inspection, are connected
to each other by a wide fuzzy-patch of unresolved stars.  The longer I stared at the cluster
the larger the fuzzy-patch got until it nearly encircled the three stars in the triangle.  I am not
sure if the triangle stars are actually part of the cluster or are foreground stars, but they do
make finding the cluster easy.  The vast (if not all) of the 380-plus stars making up the
cluster appeared only as a combined soft glow in my eyepiece.