NGC 2264 is a small cluster of bright stars in Monoceros, near the border with Gemini. The brightest stars are all hot, blue main sequence stars and appear in the telescope as an inverted wedge which gives rise to the more common name, "The Christmas Tree Cluster".
While the cluster draws visual observers to this region, astrophotographers are more interested in the faint nebulosity surrounding the cluster. Surrounding the cluster is Sharpless 2-273, a very large and faint mixture of reflection and emission nebulosity. The most interesting section is just south of the tip of the christmas tree. Here there is a dark wedge of obscuring dust that is commonly known as the "Cone Nebula". This is visible in the images below.