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Contains:  The star βCha
Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
Chamaeleon Molecular Cloud and Dust, 


            Gabriel R. Santos...
Chamaeleon Molecular Cloud and Dust

Chamaeleon Molecular Cloud and Dust

Technical card

Resolution: 1800x1200

Dates:June 15, 2017

Frames: 30x240" ISO800

Integration: 2.0 hours

Darks: ~15

Bias: ~30

Avg. Moon age: 20.21 days

Avg. Moon phase: 70.02%

Mean SQM: 21.60

Mean FWHM: 3.91

Temperature: 5.50 job: 1637340

RA center: 192.758 degrees

DEC center: -78.990 degrees

Pixel scale: 13.113 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: -90.756 degrees

Field radius: 3.940 degrees

Locations: Sítio, Cristina, MG, Brazil


Within the Southern Constellation Chamaeleon, lies beautiful fillaments of dust and dark nebulae. The Chamaeleon Molecular Cloud, whuch is potrayed in this image, "lies some 400 to 600 light years from Earth, and contains tens of thousands of solar masses of gas and dust. " [Wikipedia]

The extremely faint dust, in strongly southern declinations (~ -75º) makes this a challenge - both for capturing and processing. I personally see this dust regions as bein the "Southern" version of the IFN - the latter much more captured by amateurs. Indeed, this Molecular complex appears to be rarely imaged (especially in such wide fields), according to a quick search. Furthermore, even from my 22ºS latitude, this object never rises for more than 40º, and LP from nearby cities become more of a factor so close to the horizon.

I must admit I was really surprised by how this image turned out. The starting data was already pretty good, with extremely clear and stable skiy conditions. Processing was by no means easy, as to bring out such faint details, in such a rich starfiels is a challenge. In order to capture the faint gas and dust, this is my longest integration time thus far (although less than most deeper images around the web), at 2h or 120min. Finally, to sum things up, I just really liked the final result!

*Please check the full image 1800px - resized from original)*

Constructive criticism, comments and suggestions are more than welcome in the comments section. Thank's for taking your time to look at this image.

Taken from Rural Skies (Bortle 3-4; NELM ~6.2; SQM ~21.6*calculated), from Cristina, MG, Brazil (22ºS latitude).

Date and Time: June 15th, 2017, at 20h (UTC-3, start of capture)
Camera: Unmodded Canon T4i/650D, at ISO 800
Lens: Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8, operated at 200mm f/3.5
Mount: Sky-Watcher HEQ5, tracking, guided (
Guiding: Starguider 50mm Guidescope + ASI120mm + PHD2; ~1.8" RMS
Exposure Detail: 30x240s (total 120min)



Gabriel R. Santos...
License: None (All rights reserved)


  • Chamaeleon Molecular Cloud and Dust, 


            Gabriel R. Santos...
  • Final
    Chamaeleon Molecular Cloud and Dust, 


            Gabriel R. Santos...
  • Chamaeleon Molecular Cloud and Dust, 


            Gabriel R. Santos...


More Star Shrinking and Stretching applied to better show the faint dust


Extremley (read over) stretched image, just to better show the dust. Not my final though, as artifacts begin to come up

Sky plot

Sky plot


Chamaeleon Molecular Cloud and Dust, 


            Gabriel R. Santos...