Vela Pulsar

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Vela Pulsar
Vela Pulsar jet.jpg
The Vela Pulsar and its surrounding pulsar wind nebula
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Vela
Right ascension 08h 35m 20.65525s[1]
Declination −45° 10′ 35.1545″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 23.6
[2] pc)
Other designations
HU Vel, PSR J0835-4510, PSR B0833-45, 4U 0833-45, 2CG 263-02, 2E 0833.6-4500, 3EG J0834-4511, H 0833-450, INTEGRAL1 5, SNR G263.6-02.8
Database references

The Vela Pulsar (PSR J0835-4510 or PSR B0833-45) is a radio, optical, X-ray- and gamma-emitting pulsar associated with the Vela Supernova Remnant in the constellation of Vela.


It spins 11.195 times per second[3] (i.e. a period of 89.33 milliseconds—the shortest known at the time of its discovery) and the remnant from the supernova explosion is estimated to be travelling outwards at 1,200 km/s (750 mi/s).[4] It has the third-brightest optical component of all known pulsars (V = 23.6 mag)[5] which pulses twice for every single radio pulse. The Vela pulsar is the brightest persistent object in the high-energy gamma-ray sky.

Research campaigns[edit]

The association of the Vela pulsar with the Vela Supernova Remnant, made by astronomers at the University of Sydney in 1968,[6] was direct observational proof that supernovae form neutron stars.

Studies conducted by Kellogg et al. with the Uhuru spacecraft in 1970–71 showed the Vela pulsar and Vela X to be separate but spatially related objects. The term Vela X was used to describe the entirety of the supernova remnant.[7] Weiler and Panagia established in 1980 that Vela X was actually a pulsar wind nebula, contained within the fainter supernova remnant and driven by energy released by the pulsar.[8]

On 12 May 2015, a NASA research balloon was launched from Alice Springs in Australia's Northern Territory, taking aloft instruments developed as a joint project between Nagoya University and Kobe University in Japan to measure gamma ray output from the Vela Pulsar. The flight was expected to end near Longreach, Queensland, after sunset.[9]


The pulsar is occasionally referred to as Vela X, but this phenomenon is separate from either the pulsar or the Vela X nebula. A radio survey of the Vela-Puppis region was made with the Mills Cross Telescope in 1956-57 and identified three strong radio sources: Vela X, Vela Y, and Vela Z. These sources are observationally close to the Puppis A supernova remnant, which is also a strong X-ray and radio source.[10]

Neither the pulsar nor either of the associated nebulae should be confused with Vela X-1, an observationally close but unrelated high-mass X-ray binary system.

In music[edit]

The emissions of Vela and the pulsar PSR B0329+54 were converted into audible sound by French composer Gérard Grisey and used in the piece Le noir de l'étoile (1989–90).[11][12][13]



  1. ^ a b "NAME Vela Pulsar". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  2. ^ Caraveo, P. A.; De Luca, A.; Mignani, R. P.; Bignami, G. F. (November 2001). "The Distance to the Vela Pulsar Gauged with Hubble Space Telescope Parallax Observations". Astrophys. J. 561 (2): 930–937. arXiv:astro-ph/0107282. Bibcode:2001ApJ...561..930C. doi:10.1086/323377.
  3. ^ Manchester, R. N.; Hobbs, G. B.; Teoh, A.; Hobbs, M. (August 2005). "ATNF Pulsar Catalogue: J0835-4510". VizieR Online Data Catalog. Bibcode:2005yCat.7245....0M.
  4. ^ Lyne, Andrew G.; Graham-Smith, Francis (1998). Pulsar Astronomy (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-59413-8.
  5. ^ Mignani, R. P.; Zharikov, R. P.; Caraveo, P. A. (October 2007). "The Optical Spectrum of the Vela Pulsar". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 473 (3): 891. arXiv:0707.2036. Bibcode:2007A&A...473..891M. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20077774.
  6. ^ Large, M. I.; Vaughan, A. E.; Mills, B. Y. (October 1968). "A Pulsar Supernova Association?". Nature. 20 (5165): 340–341. Bibcode:1968Natur.220..340L. doi:10.1038/220340a0.
  7. ^ Kellogg, E.; Tananbaum, H.; Harnden, F. R., Jr.; Gursky, H.; Giacconi, R.; Grindlay, J. (August 1973). "The X-ray Structure of the Vela X Region Observed from Uhuru". The Astrophysical Journal. 183: 935–940. Bibcode:1973ApJ...183..935K. doi:10.1086/152279.
  8. ^ Weiler, K. W.; Panagia, N. (October 1980). "Vela X and the Evolution of Plerions". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 90 (3): 269–282. Bibcode:1980A&A....90..269W.
  9. ^ Jeffery, Mark; Sleath, Emma (12 May 2015). "Huge research balloon launched in Alice Springs to observe neutron star Vela Pulsar". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  10. ^ Rishbeth, H. (December 1958). "Radio Emission from the Vela-Puppis Region". Australian Journal of Physics. 11 (4): 550–563. Bibcode:1958AuJPh..11..550R. doi:10.1071/PH580550.
  11. ^ Del Re, Giuseppe (2000). The Cosmic Dance: Science Discovers the Mysterious Harmony of the Universe. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation. pp. 24–25. ISBN 978-1-890151-25-6.
  12. ^ Luminet, Jean-Pierre (2011). Illuminations: Cosmos et esthétique (in French). Paris: Odile Jacob. pp. 419–420. ISBN 978-2-7381-2562-0.
  13. ^ "Gérard Grisey (1946-1998): Le Noir de l'Étoile (1989-1990)" (in French). IRCAM. Retrieved 12 January 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: Sky map 08h 35m 20.65525s, −45° 10′ 35.1545″