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🌎 Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Vela (The Sails) Constellation

Vela (pronounced ˈviːlə) is the Latin name of a large constellation (in fact it extends itself for about 37 degrees across the sky) situated south of the celestial equator. As such, it is more easily visible from the southern hemisphere.

In English language this constellation is also known as "The Sails" while in astronomical texts and literature this constellation is often abbreviated as "Vel" (according to the standard of the International Astronomical Union - IAU) or as "Velr" (according to a naming convention used by NASA).

The Latin genitive of the constellation name is "Velorum" (pronounced vɪˈlɔːrəm) and it is used to identify some of the brightest stars in this constellation based on the Bayer or Flamsteed star naming convention. For instance: α Velorum (the brightest star of Vela based on the Bayer catalog); or 23 Velorum (the 23th star in the constellation of Vela based on the Flamsteed catalog).

Vela is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change].
Available Resources for Vela

Sky Chart of Vela Constellation

Here we provide a simplified sky chart of the Vela constellation. Alternatively it is possible to locate Vela in the night sky using our Online Interactive Planetarium.

Chart of  constellation
This constellation image is derivatve work based on original work by IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg) CC-BY-3.0.

Visibility of Vela Constellation

Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]
Latitude: 51° 28’ 47” N
Longitude: 0° 00’ 00” E
Timezone: Europe/London

Vela is currently not visible from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

The rise and set times provided here are just directional indications and they refer to a point approximately placed at the center of the constellation. In case of very large constellations (like Vela actually is) these times can have little relevance.

Bright Stars in Vela Constellation

The table below lists the top 20 brightest stars in the Vela constellation. See also the complete list of 193 stars brighter than magnitude 6.5 (approximate) in the constellation of Vela. Click on each star to see more details about it.

HR Number(*) Star designation Proper name Visual magnitude Color Notes
HR3207 γ2 Velorum 1.78 Variable; Multiple;
HR3485 δ Velorum Alsephina 1.96 Multiple;
HR3634 λ Velorum Suhail 2.21 Variable; Double;
HR3734 κ Velorum Markeb 2.5
HR4216 μ Velorum 2.69 Double;
HR3803 3.13 Variable;
HR3940 φ Velorum 3.54 Double;
HR3786 ψ Velorum 3.6 Variable; Double;
HR3447 3.62 Variable;
HR3614 3.75
HR3445 3.84 Variable; Double;
HR4167 3.84 Double;
HR4023 3.85
HR3487 3.91
HR3477 4.07 Double;
HR3426 4.14
HR3206 γ1 Velorum 4.27 Variable; Multiple;
HR4180 4.28 Multiple;
HR3836 4.35 Double;
HR4293 4.39
...go to the complete list of 193 bright stars in the constellation of Vela

(*) HR stands for Harvard Revised Bright Star Catalogue, which is also known as the Yale Catalogue of Bright Stars.

Deep Sky Objects in Vela Constellation

The table below lists the 20 brightest deep sky objects in the Vela constellation. See also the complete list of 44 deep sky objects in the constellation of Vela. The list includes objects from the Messier, New General Catalogue (NGC) and Index Catalogue (IC).

Name Type Magnitude
IC 2391 (Omicron Velae Cluster) Open Cluster 2.5 (V)
IC 2395 Open Cluster 4.6 (V)
NGC 2547 Open Cluster 4.7 (V)
NGC 3228 Open Cluster 6 (V)
NGC 2669 Open Cluster 6.1 (V)
NGC 2910 Open Cluster 7.2 (V)
NGC 2645 Open Cluster 7.32 (V)
NGC 3330 Open Cluster 7.4 (V)
NGC 2670 Open Cluster 7.8 (V)
NGC 3201 Globular Cluster 8.24 (V)
NGC 2925 Open Cluster 8.3 (V)
NGC 2659 Open Cluster 8.6 (V)
NGC 2660 Open Cluster 8.8 (V)
NGC 3033 Open Cluster 8.8 (V)
NGC 3132 (Eight-Burst Nebula) Planetary Nebula 9.2 (V)
NGC 3105 Open Cluster 9.7 (V)
NGC 2972 Open Cluster 9.9 (V)
NGC 3261 Galaxy 11.02 (V)
NGC 3256 Galaxy 11.33 (V)
NGC 3263 Galaxy 11.46 (B)
...go to the complete list of 44 deep sky objects in the constellation of Vela