This image shows the Chamaeleon I molecular cloud based on a combination of data from ESA’s Herschel and Planck space telescopes. The bright areas in the picture shows the emission by interstellar dust grains in three different wavelengths observed by Herschel (250, 350, and 500 microns) and the lines crossing the image in a ‘drapery pattern’ represent the magnetic field orientation (based on the Planck data.)
The Chamaeleon cloud complex consists of three molecular clouds of very different morphology and stages of evolution: Chamaeleon I, II and III, with Chamaleon III having no young stars. An image of Chamaeleon II is available here.
Chamaeleon I is a star-forming region with more than 200 young stars. A massive, newly-formed star powers the IC 2631 reflection nebula, visible at the top of the image. Two other reflection nebulae, called Cederblad 110 and Cederblad 111, are located in the centre of the image.
At the end its star formation phase, Chamaeleon I has a central ridge-like structure, and there are dense clumps embedded in the ridge. Faint striations can be seen in the cloud, aligned with the magnetic field.