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).
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.
Visibility of Vela Constellation
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;|
|HR3634||λ Velorum||Suhail||2.21||⬤||Variable; Double;|
|HR3786||ψ Velorum||3.6||⬤||Variable; Double;|
|HR3206||γ1 Velorum||4.27||⬤||Variable; Multiple;|
|...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).