Transit Date of principal star:
25 January

Chamaeleon is one of a dozen constellations introduced by Johann Bayer in 1603 for his star atlas Uranometria. Like most of these, Chamaeleon is far to the south. In fact, its stars are circumpolar to residents of the Southern Hemisphere.

The asterism is supposed to represent a chamaeleon. Apparently the animal has changed itself into a rhomboid.

There are only a handful of Bayer stars, and these are generally forth and fifth magnitude.

There are a couple of binaries, a Mira-type variable, and one deep sky object of some interest.

Double stars:

Delta1 Chamaeleontis is a close binary of nearly equal stars: 5.4, 6.5; PA 76, separation 0.6".

Epsilon Chamaeleontis is also a close binary: 5.5, 6.0; PA 188, separation 0.9".

Variable stars:

R Chamaeleontis is a Mira-type variable with period of 334 days, and a range of 7.5-14.

Deep Sky Objects:

NGC 3195 is a fairly bright planetary nebula located just midway between delta and zeta Cha.

For a closer appreciation of Chamaeleon, visit the Binocular Section.

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© Richard Dibon-Smith.