NGC2264 is an open cluster with its members mostly grouped south of the brilliant star S Monocerotis (mag. 4,7). The cluster is surronded by some extended nebulas, which are excited by the conspicuos number of O and B type stars in the neighborhood. The main nebula is known as The Christmas Tree, due to its shape. Very close to the clusters is visible a dark nebula, which represent one of the most beautiful example of the category, the Cone Nebula. A look to any image of it shows clearly why the nebula is named in this way. The Cone and the nearby Rosette nebulas togheter form the center of the associations MonI and MonII, containing one of the largest cloud of neutral hydrogen known in our galaxy.

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