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Hawaiian Astronomical Society

Constellations: Chamaeleon -- Well Hidden


Chamaeleon first appeared in Bayer's Uranometria of 1603. Chameleons are family of lizards found in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Madagascar seems particularly blest with them (about 35 species), and it may be these to which the constellation refers.

Chameleons can change color, and have toes fused into groups of two and three, teeth attached to the edge of the jaw, and a long tongue. Like its namesake in the animal kingdom, this constellation does not stand out.


Each map can be clicked on to produce a 916x1200 version of it. They sport red labels, which look good on screen, but which disappear when used with red flashlights. Each map, therefore has a second link to a map better suited for printing in a graphics program, and using in the field. While they are quite large, they are all about 50k, and so are easy to view at today's modem speeds. The first map is a wide area view of the constellation, suitable for naked eye browsing. The next views are binocular width, showing stars to mag. 10, deepsky objects to mag. 12.9, and labeling deepsky objects to magnitude 12.

Interactive, wide area map of Chamaeleon

Map thumbnail

Click the map for a 916x1200 version of the above. Click here for a map better suited for use in the field.

Detailed Map

Map thumbnail

This a more detailed view of the constellation. The map displays stars to magnitude 10, and deepsky objects to magnitude 12. Click here for a map better suited for use in the field.


Image thumbnail 20k JPEG One of Dreyer's remarkable objects, Caldwell 109 (NGC3195) is a planetary nebula described as fairly bright (no magnitude given, the central star is mag. 15.3), small (.7'x.5'), with little elongation. Most telescopes show 2 fairly prominent stars to the west (right).
Map Printable Map


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