Astronomy Friday – Christmas Tree Cluster
NGC 2264 is an open cluster and its associated nebulosity in the constellation Monoceros. The open cluster is known as the Christmas Tree cluster, with the bright star in the lower right of this photo as its base and the other bright star to the upper left as its tip. Some of the nebulosity associated with this cluster can be seen around the lower left “branches” of this “tree”, in particular three strands of dark nebula. And the Cone Nebula, another dark absorption nebula, can be seen to the left of the tip of the “tree”, a thick, dark finger pointing at the tip’s star. Can you see it?