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Vela(vee -lă) (Sails) A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Crux, lying partly in the Milky Way. It was once part of the large constellation Argo. The four brightest stars, Gamma (γ), Delta (δ), Kappa (κ), and Lambda (λ) Velorum, are of 2nd magnitude and form a quadrilateral. The primary component of Gamma, a remote multiple star, is the only conspicuous Wolf-Rayet star. Delta and Kappa are two of the stars forming the False Cross. The 8th-magnitude planetary nebula NGC 3132 is a fine sight in a small telescope. The area also contains the Vela pulsar. Abbrev.: Vel; genitive form: Velorum; approx. position: RA 9.5h, dec –50°; area: 500 sq deg.
(the Sails), a constellation of the southern hemisphere. Its brightest stars have visual stellar magnitudes of 1.8, 2.0, 2.2, 2.5, and 2.7. Vela can best be observed in January and February. It is visible in the southern USSR.
A southern constellation, right ascension 9 hours, declination 50°S. Also known as Sail.