NGC 2353 -- Open Cluster in Monoceros
NGC 2353 is an elongated Open Cluster with a dominate bright orange star. However,
the 6th magnitude orange star (HD 55879) is not a true member of the Open Cluster. The
far dimmer true cluster stars are thinly scattered above and below the non-member orange
star. The most prominent double star (Struve 1052) in the cluster is distinctive and shines
just northeast of HD 55879.
Also marked on the drawing is NGC 2351. You will not find this object in most star atlases
for a good reason. It is nothing more than three stars (an asterism at best). To me this
NGC number is a complete mystery and I can find little about why it was given a number in
the New General Catalogue -- let alone how anyone might mistake these three stars for an
In the two-degree eyepiece view used in this drawing, the three brightest stars in the full
field-of-view were tinted orange. This added a nice touch to the pleasing elongated
collection of stars that make up NGC 2353.