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Vela Supernova Remnant

The Vela Supernova Remnant is a fascinating astronomical object that resulted from a massive explosion of a star around 11,000-12,000 years ago. This object is located in the southern constellation Vela and spans an area of about 8 degrees across the sky, which is equivalent to about 70 light-years in diameter. The Vela Supernova Remnant contains a complex mix of different types of radiation, including X-rays, radio waves, and visible light. It also has a variety of structures, such as filaments, loops, and knots, that were formed by shock waves from the supernova blast interacting with surrounding interstellar material. The study of the Vela Supernova Remnant provides astronomers with valuable insights into the processes of supernova explosions, the evolution of massive stars, and the dynamics of interstellar gas and dust in our galaxy.

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

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