Vela

Vela
Vela
List of stars in Vela
Abbreviation: Vel
Genitive: Velorum
Symbology: the Sails
Right ascension: 9 h
Declination: −50°
Area: 500 sq. deg. (32nd)
Main stars: 5
Bayer/Flamsteed stars: 37
Stars known to have planets: 3
Bright stars: 5
Nearby stars: 0
Brightest star: γ Vel (1.6m)
Nearest star: ψ Vel (60.5 ly)
Messier objects: 0
Meteor showers: Delta Velids
Gamma Velids
Puppid-velids
Bordering constellations: Antlia
Pyxis
Puppis
Carina
Centaurus
Visible at latitudes between +30° and −90°
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of March

Vela ( Latin: sails) is a southern constellation, one of the four parts into which Argo Navis was split (the others being Carina, Puppis and Pyxis).

Notable features

The brightest star in the constellation, γ Velorum, is a bright 1.75m supergiant star. The star is actually quintuple, the primary component is famous for being the brightest Wolf-Rayet star in the sky. This star is also sometimes called Regor, of an onknown origin.

κ Velorum is also called Markeb.

λ Velorum is also called Suhail, Arabic for lucky. The constellation Vela is in the west sky.

Notable 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). Also of interest within the constellation 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.

History

Vela is one of the four constellations that made up the old constellation of Argo Navis, the ship of the Argonauts: Vela is the sail.

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 sometimes mistaken for the Southern Cross, causing errors in astronavigation.

References

* Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion (2007). Stars and Planets Guide, Collins, London. ISBN 978-0007251209. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0691135564.

* Richard Hinckley Allen, Star Names, Their Lore and Legend, New York, Dover, various dates.

The 88 modern constellations

Andromeda | Antlia | Apus | Aquarius | Aquila | Ara | Aries | Auriga | Boötes | Caelum | Camelopardalis | Cancer | Canes Venatici | Canis Major | Canis Minor | Capricornus | Carina | Cassiopeia | Centaurus | Cepheus | Cetus | Chamaeleon | Circinus | Columba | Coma Berenices | Corona Australis | Corona Borealis | Corvus | Crater | Crux | Cygnus | Delphinus | Dorado | Draco | Equuleus | Eridanus | Fornax | Gemini | Grus | Hercules | Horologium | Hydra | Hydrus | Indus | Lacerta | Leo | Leo Minor | Lepus | Libra | Lupus | Lynx | Lyra | Mensa | Microscopium | Monoceros | Musca | Norma | Octans | Ophiuchus | Orion | Pavo | Pegasus | Perseus | Phoenix | Pictor | Pisces | Piscis Austrinus | Puppis | Pyxis | Reticulum | Sagitta | Sagittarius | Scorpius | Sculptor | Scutum | Serpens | Sextans | Taurus | Telescopium | Triangulum | Triangulum Australe | Tucana | Ursa Major | Ursa Minor | Vela | Virgo | Volans | Vulpecula

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