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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.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
(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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
A southern constellation, right ascension 9 hours, declination 50°S. Also known as Sail.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.