Chamaeleon Constellation: History, Location, How to View

Chamaeleon Constellation: History, Location, How to View

Some constellations are named after Greek kings, queens, and princesses, and they are associated with the myths related to the person they are called after. But surprisingly, most other constellations are named after exotic animals and other species, and the Chamaeleon constellation is one. This constellation is named after a lizard type called the chameleon.

Chamaeleon belongs to the Johann Bayer family of constellations. This constellation has only one known planet star while it contains no Messier objects. Moreover, Alpha Chamaeleontis is the brightest star of this constellation.

Additionally, this constellation is also home to some notable deep-sky objects like the Chamaeleon cloud complex, the Eta Chamaeleontis Cluster, newly discovered, and the planetary nebula NGC 3195.

History of Chamaeleon Constellation

Chamaeleon is among the twelve discovered constellations of Petrus Plancius. He created these constellations from the observations of Frederick de Houtman and Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser. This constellation was first published in 1597-1598 on a celestial globe of 35-cm diameter.

However, the first Uranographer was Johann Bayer, who credited putting Chamaeleon in a celestial atlas.

What is the English name for Chamaeleon Constellation?

This constellation is referred to as “Chameleon” in English.

What is the Greek Mythological Significance of Chamaeleon Constellation?

Unlike other ancient constellations, Chamaeleon does not have any Greek mythology associated with it. It is simply one of the constellations discovered by the Dutch navigators. The navigator named his chartered constellations after some bizarre animals by Plancius and named Chamaeleon after the lizard, changing colors according to the environment.

Moreover, the Dutch cartographer named Jodocus Hondius portrayed this constellation as a “chameleon” who sticks its tongue out for catching the fly, which is represented by its neighboring constellation Musca.

How to Find Chamaeleon Constellation?

Though it is one of the smallest constellations in the night sky, you can easily find it by following some simple steps discussed below:

  • Go towards the latitude of 0° and -90°.
  • Between the latitude, search for Eta Chamaeleontis, the galactic star cluster.
  • Afterward, search for Chamaeleon’s brightest star in the same region named Alpha Chamaeleontis, a fourth magnitude star.
  • Now slowly take a look at other stars of this constellation.

What is the Area of Chamaeleon Constellation?

The Chamaeleon constellation has an area of 131.592 square degrees.

What Quadrant is Chamaeleon Constellation in?

This constellation is situated in the 2nd quadrant of the southern hemisphere, denoted as SQ2.

What Latitude is Chamaeleon Constellation Visible in?

Chamaeleon is visible between the latitudes of 0° and -90° and has borders with:

What Type of Telescope is Best for Viewing Chamaeleon Constellation?

Chamaeleon is one of the smallest constellations present in the night sky. Therefore, you need some excellent telescopes for clearly watching and observing this constellation.

Use a 5-inch EDF-S refractor telescope for viewing Chamaeleon. Through this telescope, you can quickly get a detailed view of this tiny constellation.


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