Vela Supernova Remnant
The Vela Supernova Remnant is 800 light-years away. It was born about 11,000 years ago as seen from Earth, when a supergiant star exploded, blasting its outer layers into space.The nebula looks like a mound of billowing clouds.
When the star exploded, the outer layers were expelled at up to a few percent of the speed of light. So over the millennia, the nebula has inflated to a diameter of more than a hundred light-years. And it’s still expanding – at more than two million miles per hour.
That rate is one way in which astronomers determine when the star exploded. Another is the star’s dead core, called a neutron star. It spins rapidly, emitting pulses of energy with each turn. Measuring how quickly it’s slowing down gives a rough estimate of when the neutron star formed – telling us when a massive star died.
The Vela Supernova Remnant is in Vela, the sails, which hugs the southern horizon at nightfall. The nebula is big but faint, so you need a good telescope to see it.
*Script courtesy of Damond Benningfield
Telescope: Skywatcher Esprit 100
Camera: QHY 294M-Pro
Mount: iOptron CEM-70
Filters: Antlia 3.5nm Ha, SII, 3nm Oiii
Total of 8 hours
Stacked in DSS, post processed in Pixinsight + Photoshop