NGC 2232 -- Open Cluster in Monoceros
NGC 2232 with Tundra Swans Calling
During the night of March 18th while I was observing and drawing at the telescope, two
large flocks of Tundra Swans passed overhead on their spring-migration destined for
the northern breeding grounds above the Arctic Circle. The swans could not be seen,
but their distinct calls were easily heard as they flew over.
The Open Cluster NGC 2232 is under-rated in my eyes. It did not make Messier’s list,
nor Cladwell’s list or even identified in Stephen O’Meara’s Deep-sky Companion books.
Shinning at magnitude 4, its brightest star 10-Monocerotis is not difficult to find.
Surrounding the cluster are a dozen or so stars divided into two groups. One group is a
gentle arch while the other half is less geometrical but contains 10-Monocerotis. A dark
starless-void separates the two-halves. I find NGC 2232 an attractive Open Cluster that
is pleasing to the eye and deserving of more respect than it currently has received.
The location of NGC 2219 is marked by a pair-of-stars. At higher magnification,
additional stars are present, thus the cluster is not well represented in the drawing.
Some sources call this a non-existent cluster while others identify it as an Open Cluster.
The pretty smattering of stars below and to the left of the pair-of stars-marked as
NGC 2219, looks like a possible cluster, but it is not “officially” part of NGC 2219 or
any other cluster that I am aware of.
Also, the location on NGC 2250 is given in the drawing. Even though it is shown as a
single star in the drawing, it consists of 8 or so stars ranging from magnitude 8 to 14.
Again, this cluster needs to be viewed with higher power, than what I used, to draw
I ended my time at the telescope with the double-pattern of stars of NGC 2232 shinning
in my eyes with the distant calls of migrating swans overhead. It was a good night to
spend under the stars.