English Name: The Sails
Genitive: Suhail al Muhif
Hemisphere: Northern Hemisphere
Location: Between the constellations of Antlia and Carina.
Visible between latitudes: +30 and -90 degrees
Best season: Spring
Seen in three seasons: Winter, Spring and Summer.
Best seen in: During the middle of March.
Seen between:February to April.
Right Ascension (RA): 09 hour
Declination (DEC): -50 degrees
Area (square degrees): 500 (32nd)
Vela (The Sails)
- It was originally part of a larger constellation, which was later divided into three parts, the others being Carina (The Keel), Puppis (The Stern), and Pyxis (The Compass), once formed part of a huge group of stars in the southern skies known as Argos Navis.
- No Messier objects in Vela.
Features of Interest
- NGC 2547 – Open Cluster; 80 stars, detected weak concentration of stars range in brightness, visible with binocular or a small telescope.
- IC 2391 – Open Cluster; also known as Caldwell 85 (C85), very bright containing about 30 stars – visible to the naked-eye and an ideal object for binocular observation.
- IC 2395 – Open Cluster; fine cluster of around 16 stars, best observed with 3 or 4-inch telescopes, but well seen in binoculars.
- NGC 2547 – Open Cluster; large and bright, pretty sprinkling of bright blue stars – involved in nebulosity. (Likely – Seven Sisters in Taurus.)
- NGC 2626 – Reflection Nebula – pretty bright & large, unusually but very interest to be seen roundish nebula.
- NGC 3201 – Globular Cluster; fairly loose and slightly irregular in outline, very small and very bright nucleus. Well resolved with 4-inch telescopes.
- NGC 3132 – Planetary Nebula; also know as Caldwell 74 (C74) or the Eight Burst Nebula, very bright and rounded disc is visible with a small telescope – may reveal the magnitude +10.0 star at its center. Sometimes it considered the southern version of Lyra’s Ring Nebula (M57). (Magnitude: +8.2)
- Suhail al Muhlif (Gamma 2 Vel)
- Alsuhail (Lambda Vel)
- Photo of the constellation; Vela, as it appears to the naked eye. (Lines have been added for clarity.)
- Sky Chart – Vela
- List of stars in Vela.
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