The Chamaeleon Clouds

A region centred around the bluish 4.2 mag star b Cha featuring layer upon layer of molecular clouds of varying density and intriguing structure. Some are so thick that the light of more distant stars is completely absorbed, elsewhere the clouds thin to almost invisibility. However, note that the dust clouds give an indication of how near, or far, the stars are away from us. The nearer stars, such as b Cha (270ly distant), are clearly in front of the clouds since they possess bluish or white colours, whereas stars that are more distant appear yellow to reddish as their blue light has been scattered by passage through the clouds (400-600ly from Earth). The clouds are known to contain many new stars of low mass. 


Camera: SBIG STL11000M, Astrodon filters Scope: Takahashi TOA-130, f=730mm, f5.6 (fov ~2.8x1.9)
Mount: Takahashi EM-200 Temma2 Guiding: External (E-finder)
Filters/Exposures: L:R:G:B = 16x10:8x10:8x10:7x10min ≡ 6h20m Location: LMDSS Heathcote, Victoria, Australia
Date: April 2016 Processing: CCDStack2, RegiStar and Photoshop CS5