NGC 2335 & 2343, Collinder 465 & 465 and IC 2177 in Monoceros
Entanglement of Celestial Objects
Within the 2-degree view in the eyepiece were three Open Clusters (NGC 2335, NGC 2342
& Collinder 466) and one Asterism (Collinder 466); all dwarfed by the ethereal background
glow of the northern extension of the Seagull Nebula (IC 2177). As the jigsaw puzzle of
celestial marvels flooded my eye, I at first, ignored the pencil and paper at my side, and just
focused at the complex star field. How could I ever dream of capturing this to paper? The
answer of course, is that I never could, but that was not the point. The objective was to
produce something that would remind me days, months, years later of what I was seeing
tonight. I knew that just the act of drawing would make me see detail that otherwise would
go unnoticed. Relax, enjoy the view, then start sketching and taking notes – take it one step
at a time – don’t rush -- the rest of the world and all the other objects in the night sky can wait
for another time.
As has happened so my times before, a lot of telescope time passed unnoticed. At the end I
had several small-detailed rough drawings at 182x and a large-overall rough drawing at 52x;
a couple of sketches were done with nebula filters but most without.
The above final computerized drawing is a composite of all the rough sketches/notes mixed
with my overall visual impression of a very tiny, tiny section of the night sky, deep in the
constellation of the Unicorn, as it appeared to me, and me alone, on February 14, 2020.