Vela (constellation)

related topics
{math, energy, light}
{land, century, early}
{god, call, give}

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.


Notable features


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.

False Cross

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: Sky map 09h 00m 00s, −50° 00′ 00″

Full article ▸

related documents
SN 1604
Rankine scale
Knife-edge effect
Dactyl (moon)
Pulse duration
Puck (moon)
Optical density
Ejnar Hertzsprung
Electromagnetic environment
Grashof number
Lupus (constellation)
Primary time standard
Desdemona (moon)
Barn (unit)
Igor Tamm
Faraday constant
Primary mirror
Umbriel (moon)
Dalton's law
Carina (constellation)
52 Europa