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NGC 2362 in Canis Major

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#1 stevecoe


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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:56 PM

Howdy all;

I am out at an observing location about 100 miles from Phoenix, Arizona near the little town of Quartzsite. We were clouded out last night, but I got some good observations on Monday evening. I rated the seeing as 7/10 and the transparency at 8/10, about as good as this site gets.

Using my 16" f/4.5 with a 27mm Panoptic eyepiece I observed the cluster around Tau CMa, NGC 2362.

NGC 2362 32 stars resolved, bright, pretty large, much compressed and pretty rich. The two companions of Tau CMa are easy, averted vision adds another 10 stars to this unique cluster.

Raising the power with the 14mm eyepiece resolved 51 stars and provides a great view. Tau is blue-white and companions are much easier at this higher power.

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#2 EJN



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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:14 PM

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#3 Gary Riley

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 12:38 AM

Observed this cluster myself last night using my Z12 dob at 115X. Have observed it before and it is a very lovely cluster especially with Tau practically centered in it. To me the cluster takes on a spiral shape wrapping itself around Tau. Beautiful!


#4 stevecoe


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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:03 PM


Yes, if I look at my drawing with that in mind there are some curving chains of stars that look like a spiral.

Clear skies;
Steve Coe

#5 Astrodj


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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:46 PM

Thanks for sharing your drawing.

NGC 2362 is one of my favorites for several reasons. If in fact Tau is a member it is one of the most distant naked eye stars visible. That it is also a remarkable multiple star system.. stars.astro.illinois.edu ..is also interesting to me. Plus, it is a beautiful cluster, even from mag 5 skies.

I always jump up to the "winter Albireo" (HJ3925) after I finish with 2362. A very pretty double.

#6 Fuzzyguy


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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:16 AM

Nice drawing Steve, I meant to check 2362 out tonight, but I got too cold before I could get to it. Next time! Thanks for the hint. :)

#7 JakeSaloranta



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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:05 AM

From Finland this cluster rises only few degrees above the horizon so from here it isn't much to look at. From more southern locations NGC 2362 is just gorgeous! Here's one of my favourite description of it made using a 4.7" Sky-Watcher @ 120x:

"Gorgeous cluster dominated by the brilliant 4th magnitude Tau Canis Majoris. In total 40* mags 9-13 visible within a slightly E-W elongated area of 5’ x 7’. Brighter stars are mostly packed south of Tau CMa. Symmetrical and several chains of stars especially in the N and S sides. Stars form a familiar shape of a ladybug hence the nickname “The Ladybug Cluster”. Outside the field, to the east, a small river of stars flows north of 6th magnitude star [HD 57192]. Large and sparse open cluster ASCC 37 is located 30’ NW from Tau CMa and appears as a 10’ x 7’ grouping of mostly 10th and 11th magnitude stars."

NGC 2362 was the Observer's Challenge of March 2012 for LVAS:


#8 tnakazon



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Posted 22 February 2013 - 10:58 PM

I like your sketch Steve - your style closely resembles mine!

I mainly observe with small scopes of 4.5" or less in orange zone sites, so I don't see as many stars as you do on this cluster. Still it's one of the most beautiful clusters I've ever seen.

Haven't looked at this cluster in a while (I misplaced my notebook which has my sketch of this - darn).

#9 MessierScott


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Posted 28 February 2013 - 02:10 PM

There is a great visual trick to this cluster as well! A nickname that I've always heard is the "Mexican Jumping Bean Cluster".

While looking at the cluster with fairly high power, give your scope a good tap. While the cluster is moving around, it appears that tau CMa is bouncing around inside the cluster itself.

Actually, it's just the much brighter star leaving trails in your eye, sort of like "mouse trails" on the computer.

It's a cool illusion though!

#10 Astro One

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 12:46 AM

Interesting. I'll check it out

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