Chamaeleon I (Image Credit: Lorand Fenyes)

This is Chamaeleon I – a member of the Chamaeleon Cloud Complex, which also contains Chamaeleon II, and Chamaeleon III (the latter is home to dark nebulae clouds).

Chamaeleon I (also known as Cha I) is one of the nearest regions to Earth that is currently undergoing any type of star formation activity. Said activity is confined to three separate regions: We have the primary cloud, in addition to a north cloud and a south cloud. Each are interconnected by a large dark nebula made up of dense, interstellar dust grains.

Providing the contrast of glowing gas from the dark medium is HD 97300—a heavy source of x-ray emission. The light from this star is prone to bouncing off the dust grains, producing a reflection nebula as a result. In addition to HD 97300, some 200 more stars reside there.

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