List of stars in Chamaeleon
Abbreviation Cha
Genitive Chamaeleontis
Pronunciation /kəˈmiːliən/, genitive /kəˌmiːliˈɒntɨs/
Symbolism the Chameleon
Right ascension 11 h
Declination −80°
Quadrant SQ2
Area 132 sq. deg. (79th)
Main stars 3
Stars with planets 1
Stars brighter than 3.00m 0
Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly) 0
Brightest star α Cha (4.05m)
Nearest star α Cha
(63.45 ly, 19.45 pc)
Messier objects 0
Meteor showers None
Visible at latitudes between +0° and −90°.
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of April.

Chamaeleon is a small constellation in the southern sky. It is named after the chameleon, a form of lizard. It was first defined in the sixteenth century.



Chamaeleon was one of twelve constellations created by Petrus Plancius from the observations of Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman. It first appeared on a 35-cm diameter celestial globe published in 1597 (or 1598) in Amsterdam by Plancius and Jodocus Hondius. The first depiction of this constellation in a celestial atlas was in Johann Bayer's Uranometria of 1603.

Notable features

In 1999, a nearby open cluster was discovered centered on the star η Chamaeleontis. The cluster, known as either the Eta Chamaeleontis cluster or Mamajek 1, is 8 million years old, and lies 316 light years from Earth.[1]

The constellation contains a number of molecular clouds (the Chamaeleon dark clouds) that are forming low-mass T Tauri stars. The cloud complex lies some 400 to 600 light years from Earth, and contains tens of thousands of solar masses of gas and dust. The most prominent cluster of T Tauri stars and young B-type stars are in the Chamaeleon I cloud, and are associated with the reflection nebula IC 2631.


In Chinese astronomy, the stars that form Chamaeleon were classified as the Little Dipper (小斗, Xiǎodǒu) among the Southern Asterisms (近南極星區, Jìnnánjíxīngōu) by Xu Guangqi.[2]

See also

Chamaeleon (Chinese astronomy)



External links

Coordinates: Sky map 11h 00m 00s, −80° 00′ 00″

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chamaeleon — Nombre Latino Chamaeleon Abreviatura Cha …   Wikipedia Español

  • chamaeleon — n. [L. Chamaeleon, Gr. chamaile wn, lit., ground lion; chamai on the ground + le wn lion.] (Zo[ o]l.) a lizard of Africa and Madagascar able to change skin color and having a projectile tongue. Syn: chameleon. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Chamaeleon — n. (Astronomy) a small constellation in the southern skies between Hydrus and Musca. Syn: Chameleon. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Chamaeleon — [kə mē′lē ən] n. [L, see CHAMELEON] a S constellation near the celestial pole …   English World dictionary

  • CHAMAELEON — I. CHAMAELEON commentarios libros in vatios Poetas edidit, nimirum eum εν τῷ περὶ Α᾿νακρέοντος citat Athenaeus, l. 12. Item, l. 13. περὶ Σαπφοῦς, et περὶ Σιμωνίδος. Ad haec περὶ Θεςπίδος Michael Apostolius, proverbiô, οὐδὲν πρὸς Διόνυσον. Idem… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • chamaeleon — Chameleon Cha*me le*on (k[.a]*m[=e] l[ e]*[u^]n), n. [L. Chamaeleon, Gr. chamaile wn, lit., ground lion; chamai on the ground + le wn lion. See {Humble}, and {Lion}.] (Zo[ o]l.) 1. A lizardlike reptile of the genus {Cham[ae]leo}, of several… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Chamaeleon — noun A small circumpolar constellation of the southern sky, said to resemble a chamaeleon. It lies south of the constellations Carina and Musca …   Wiktionary

  • chamaeleon — noun lizard of Africa and Madagascar able to change skin color and having a projectile tongue • Syn: ↑chameleon • Hypernyms: ↑lizard • Hyponyms: ↑African chameleon, ↑Chamaeleo chamaeleon, ↑horned chameleon, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Chamaeleon — Das Wort Chamäleon, auch Kamäleon geschrieben, hat die folgenden Bedeutungen: in der Biologie eine Familie innerhalb der Klasse der Reptilien, siehe Chamäleons in der Astronomie ein Sternbild, siehe Chamäleon (Sternbild) eine ARD Fernsehserie,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chamaeleon — /keuh mee lee euhn, meel yeuhn/, n., gen. Chamaeleontis / mee lee on tis/. Astron. a small southern constellation between Musca and Hydrus. Also, Chameleon. [ < L] * * * …   Universalium

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