Vela is a constellation in the southern sky. Its name is Latin for the sails of a ship, and it was originally part of a larger constellation, the ship Argo Navis, which was later divided into three parts, the others being Carina and Puppis.
The brightest star in the constellation, γ Velorum, is a bright 1.75m supergiant star. The star is actually quintuple, and the primary component is famous for being the brightest Wolf–Rayet star in the sky. γ Velorum is also sometimes called Regor, which is Roger backwards.
κ Velorum is also called Markeb.
The False Cross is an asterism formed of the stars δ Velorum and κ Velorum and ι Carinae and ε Carinae. It is so called because it is sometimes mistaken for the Southern Cross, causing errors in astronavigation.
Deep sky objects
Of the deep sky objects of interest in Vela is a planetary nebula known as the NGC 3132 (nicknamed Eight-burst Nebula). This constellation has 32 more planetary nebulae.
Also of interest is the Vela Supernova Remnant. This is the nebula of a supernova explosion which is believed to have been visible from the Earth around 10,000 years ago. The remnant contains a pulsar which was the first pulsar to be identified optically.
The Gum Nebula is a faint emission nebula, believed to be the remains of a million-year-old supernova.
Coordinates: 09h 00m 00s, −50° 00′ 00″
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