Chamaeleon ( Latin: chameleon) is a minor southern constellation. The constellation was one of twelve constellations created by Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman between 1595 and 1597, and it first appeared in Johann Bayer's Uranometria of 1603. In Australia it is sometimes unofficially called "the Frying Pan" when finding the south by the stars.
Since it is an invention of the 17th century and was not visible to early Mediterranean cultures, there is no mythology associated with it.
Notable deep-sky objects
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.
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.
1. ^ Luhman, K.L. & Steeghs, D. 2004, ApJ, 609, 917
* Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion (2007). Stars and Planets Guide, Collins, London. ISBN 978-0007251209. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0691135564.
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