Vela Constellation Myths and Facts

Vela: The Sails

Pronunciation: VEE-luh/VAY-luh
Vela, The Sails
Vela was part of Argo Navis, depicted here by Johannes Hevelius in his Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia (1687). Source image provided by — Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc.
Vela Constellation Profile
Abbreviation: Vel Genitive: Velorum
Origin: Lacaille Location: Southern Hemisphere
Best View (North): Spring Best View (South):
Bordering Constellations: Carina, Centaurus, Antlia, Pyxis, Puppis

The Myth Behind the Constellation Vela

Vela, “The Sails”, was part of a much larger constellation known as Argo Navis, the ship Argo.  Argo was the vessel that Jason and the Argonauts sailed on during their quest for the Golden Fleece (see Aries.)  In the mid-eighteenth century French astronomer Nicolas-Louis de La Caille divided this super constellation into three parts; Carina, Puppis and Vela.  He also created a fourth constellation, Pyxis, using stars from part of this vast group.

Vela Constellation Points of Interest

Interesting stars and objects.

Bright Stars in Vela

These are the stars in Vela with a minimum magnitude of 3.0.
Name Bayer Name Magnitude Color Luminosity Distance
Regor Gamma Velorum 1.75  Blue 28,095 suns 847 ly
Koo She Delta Velorum 1.93  White 102 suns 80 ly
Al Suhail Lambda Velorum 2.21  Orange 41,660 suns 577 ly
Markab Kappa Velorum 2.47  Blue-White 5,712 suns 539 ly
Peregrini Mu Velorum 2.69  Yellow 123 suns 116 ly