List of stars in Vela
|Right ascension||9 h|
|Area||500 sq. deg. (32nd)|
|Stars with planets||7|
|Stars brighter than 3.00m||5|
|Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly)||3|
|Brightest star||γ Vel (1.75m)|
|Nearest star||WISE 1049-5319
(6.6 ly, 2.0 pc)
|Meteor showers||Delta Velids
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.
Argo was sub-divided in 1752 by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, forming Vela. Despite the division, Lacaille kept Argo's Bayer designations. Therefore Carina has the α, β and ε, Vela has γ and δ, Puppis has ζ, and so on.
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.
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.
Also of interest is the Vela Supernova Remnant. This is the nebula of a supernova explosion that is believed to have been visible from Earth around 10,000 years ago. The remnant contains the Vela Pulsar, 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.
Vela is called out in NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) for 5 September 2011.
NGC 2670 is an open cluster located in Vela. It has an overall magnitude of 7.8 and is 3200 light-years from Earth. The stars of NGC 2670, a Trumpler class II 2 p and Shapley class d cluster, are in a conformation suggesting a bow and arrow. Its class indicates that it is a poor, loose cluster, though detached from the star field. It is somewhat concentrated at its center, and its less than 50 stars range moderately in brightness.
- Levy, David H. (2005), Deep Sky Objects, Prometheus Books, ISBN 1-59102-361-0
- Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion (2007). Stars and Planets Guide, Collins, London. ISBN 978-0-00-725120-9. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0-691-13556-4.
- Richard Hinckley Allen, Star Names, Their Lore and Legend, New York, Dover, various dates.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|