NGC 2360 -- Open Cluster in Canis Major
Caroline’s Cluster or Open Box Cluster
Which name you refer to NGC 2360 is less important than to take the time to enjoy this
impressive open cluster. I think I prefer the name Caroline’s Cluster since it was found by
Caroline Herschel in 1785. The cluster is so complex that I believe one’s imagination
could make it into anything you wished – an open box included.
With the 6-inch refractor from my backyard, the cluster appears to have a tight elongated
east-west core with several extended strings-of-stars expanding into the nearby star fields.
I find it a marvel of star-light complexity.
NGC 2360 is old for an Open Cluster (1.8 billion years). The literature states that it has a
large red-giant star population. For the most part these red-giants remained hidden
from my eyes for this drawing – I found only two that were ruddy in the center of the cluster.
This might be due to my light-polluted yard, using too small of a telescope or aged eyes.
Regardless, NGC 2360 is a stunning cluster, immersed in the surrounding star-studded
Milky Way – a fine object in anyone’s book.