Solar System

(The Chamaeleon)

One of the few constellations that shares its name with the object it resembles, Chamaeleon seems to share the characteristics of its namesake. It is very faint and overshadowed by brighter constellations such as Carina. It was invented by Johannes Bayer in 1603.

There are relative few objects of interest although it does contain the aesthetically pleasing clouds of Cederblad 111 and the Chamaeleon I complex.

  NGC 3195:
  This pink sphere of gas is the brightest object in Chamaeleon. It lies between Delta and Zeta Chamaeleontis.
IC 2631:
    A bright blue reflection nebula that is similar in appearance to NGC 6726 in Corona Australis. It surrounds a magnitude 9 star. Directly below the reflection nebula lies a dark nebula.
Ced 111:

A magnificent group of reflection nebulae with dark nebulae shrouded in brown sugary dust. The Ced 111 region lies directly south of IC 2631 and a widefield view shows both nebulae. The reflection nebula is similar to NGC 7129 in Cepheus except it has a simpler structure with one or two Herbig Haro objects that reinforce the similarity. Above the fluffy blue cloud is a seashell shaped white nebula that makes an alluring contrast with a dark cloud above it. A second dark cloud to the right of the reflection nebula obstructs the dust cloud that surrounds this region. The dark nebulae belong to the virtually unknown Sandqvist dark nebula catalogue.

Cederblad 111 isn't very well known and is obscure due to it being southern and some would call it a hidden gem in an otherwise sparse area of sky.

Chamaeleon I complex  

The Chamaeleon I complex has been extensively studied but remains in the undeserved depths of obscurity amongst amateur astronomers. Sharing a similarity to the Corona Australis star forming region, the complex is also situated at the same distance as the NGC 6726 complex.

The bright nebula on the left is IC 2631. The other blue nebula is Ced 111 and the white bow shaped nebula is Ced 110. Closer views show many Herbig Haro objects in the area of the two Cederblad nebulae. The dark nebula to the right of IC 2631 is Bernes 142 and Sandqvist 135 is the dark cloud below Ced 110.

Image copyright G. Rhemann and M. Jäger