The NGC designations in the area of the Rosette nebula have indeed been quite confused in the past and are still shown or listed incorrectly in many current references. The preferred designation for the nebula itself is NGC 2237, although portions of it were discovered separately (NGC 2238 and NGC 2246). The included cluster has the preferred designation of NGC 2244 and an alternate designation of NGC 2239 (due to a 1 minute RA error by John Herschel). For more information on the cluster identities, see my Webb Society monograph "The 'Non-Existent' Star Clusters of the RNGC", page 58, available from the Webb Society
- Brent Archinal
----- Forwarded by Brent A Archinal/GD/USGS/DOI on 04/17/2002 10:58 AM -----
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The Rosette Nebula itself is actually several NGC numbers (including NGC 2237,
2238, 2239 and 2246), and is a large EMISSION nebula located 3000-5000
light-years away. The stellar winds from the open cluster of stars known as NGC
2244 has cleared a hole in the nebula's center.
see http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/n2244.html and
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap020317.html for more info.