NGC 2362 “The Tau Cluster” In Canis Major – Also called “The Mexican Jumping Bean Cluster.” Tap your telescope tube and watch what happens.

NGC 2362 Open Cluster Canes Major

Open cluster, NGC 2362 is a beautiful and most interesting cluster, which can be easily observed with the smallest of telescopes, in a moderately light polluted sky.   However, like all deep-sky objects, a reasonably dark sky is needed to fully appreciate.       

The bright 4th magnitude star Tau, creates a glare that subdues many of the dimmer members of the cluster.  I could count approximately 20 stars with a greater concentration of faint unresolved stars just west of Tau, creating a light glow.  The cluster has a mostly irregular shape and is comprised primarily of  bluish/white stars.  The above pencil sketch was made using a 102 mm Orion/Vixen refractor at 83x, from my moderately light polluted backyard in western North Carolina.  I used a blank 5 x 8 note card and inverted the colors using my printer.     Roger Ivester

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