Gum Nebula

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Gum Nebula
Supernova remnant
Observation data: J2000.0 epoch
Right ascension 08h 00m :s
Declination−43° 00′ :″
Distance1470 ly   (450 pc)
Apparent magnitude (V)+12 (infrared only)
Physical characteristics
Absolute magnitude (V)3.73 (infrared)
DesignationsGum 12
See also: Lists of nebulae
The Gum Nebula is visible as the faint large red nebula in this image. Credit: P. Horálek/ESO

The Gum Nebula (Gum 12) is an emission nebula that extends across 36° in the southern constellations Vela and Puppis. It lies roughly 350 parsecs from the Earth. Hard to distinguish, it was widely believed to be the greatly expanded (and still expanding) remains of a supernova that took place about a million years ago. More recent research suggests it may be an evolved H II region. It contains the 11,000-year-old Vela Supernova Remnant, along with the Vela Pulsar.

The Gum Nebula contains about 32 cometary globules.[1] These dense cloud cores are subject to such strong radiation from O-type stars γ2 Vel and ζ Pup and formerly the progenitor of the Vela Supernova Remnant that the cloud cores evaporate away from the hot stars into comet-like shapes. Like ordinary Bok globules, cometary globules are believed to be associated with star formation.[2]

It is named after its discoverer, the Australian astronomer Colin Stanley Gum (1924–1960). Gum had published his findings in 1955 in a work called A study of diffuse southern H-alpha nebulae (see Gum catalog).

Popular culture[edit]

The Gum Nebula is explored by the crew of the Starship Titan in the Star Trek novel Orion's Hounds.[3]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Zealey, W. J., Z. Ninkov, E. Rice, M. Hartley, & S. B. Tritton. 1983, ApL, 23, 119.
  2. ^ Reipurth, B. 1983, A&A, 117, 183. Star formation in BOK globules and low-mass clouds. "I - The cometary globules in the GUM Nebula."
  3. ^ Bennett, Christopher (2005-12-27). Orion's Hounds. Pocket Books. ISBN 141650950X.