Quote fromDreyer's New General Catalog (NGC):
"Pretty large, cometary form, much brighter nucleus southeast almost star, 7th magnitude star to northeast."
Quote from Deep Sky Field Guide to Uranometria 2000:
"Reflection nebula; Comet-shaped nebula with a magnitude 11 star involved."
NGC 2245 is just one small patch of nebulosity in an area of the Constellation of Monoceros that is filled with nebulae and star clusters. It is a reflection nebula in which the light of the embedded 11th magnitude star is reflected off of surrounding dust and gas. It does not shine by its own light like emission nebulae, and its spectra is the same as that of the star providing the light.
The bright star to the upper right in our image is a 7.7 magnitude K0 Red Giant that the Hipparcos Satellite has accurately measured to be at a distance of 5,824 light years.
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George Normandin, KAS
March 26th, 2000