Object: Open cluster(s) IC 2156 & -57 Constell: GEM RA: 06h 04.8m (-57) Decl: +24° 03.4' Epoch: 2000 Mag: 8.4m Size: 6' Type: II 1 p Observer: Jere Kahanpää Obs. place: Hartola, Finland Date/Time: 30./31.12.1996, 23.05 Telescope: N 205/1000 Magn: 80x Filter: Field: 37' NE Lim.mag: 5.7m Background sky: 3 Seeing: 3 Weather: -21 °C, 60% Moon rising E. Brightness: 3 Alt: 50° Description: The most obvious and interesting structure in the field is a large (18') round quite obvious cluster of mag. 11-12 stars. This group is clearly ring-shaped with a empty area in the middle. Two small knots are embedded in the ring on the W edge: IC 2157 and IC 2156. The sourthern is -57: Quite easy. About a dozen stars mag. 10...12, diam. 5.5'. IC 2156: Smaller and fainter than -57, 6' N of it. Diam. 3.5'. Less than ten stars mag. 11,12... The literature about these two 'clusters' is scarce and confusing. Almost no standard reference mentions both groups and in many cases the names and coordinates have been mixed. I've seen no references to the larger group.