A quite large constellation of the southern hemisphere. Its boundaries are
roughly DECL=-40 degrees, DECL=-57 degrees, RA=11h and RA=8h.
Together with Carina, Puppis and Pyxis Vela forms the ancient constellation of Argo Navis, the ship of the Argonauts. This constellation has no stars labelled with alpha and beta. The reason is that it has been part of a bigger constellation once, which brightest stars does not belong to Vela. After the break up of Argo Navis into these four constellationsd no reassignment of the stars has taken place.
Stars and other objects
This region of the sky is extremly rich in star fields. Even random scanning
with binoculars will repay the observer will breathtaking views.
The double gamma Vel can be resolved with binoculars. It consists of an blue-white subgiant of 4.27 mag and a bright (1.78 mag) Wolf-Rayet star. There are two wider companions of 9th and 10th magnitude; its a nice group for telescopes with small apertures.
To resolve the components of delta Vel scopes with apertures of at least 100 mm are needed. The stars of this tight double are of 2nd and 6th mag.
The double b16 can be resolved with a 3 inch glas; its components are blue and orange with 4.9 mag and 7.7 mag, respectively.
An interesting object is p Vel: It consits of a white-green pair with 4.6 mag and 5.1 mag. These two stars show an extremely small revolution time: in just 16 years they complete the orbit. Unfortunately powerful telescopes are required two split the two stars.
Around omicron Vel a bright and close group of stars is located, IC 2391. This little cluster is visible to the naked eye but best viewed with binoculars.
Another binocular cluster is NGC 2547. About 50 stars of 7th mag and fainter belong to this cluster.
The meteor shower of the Gamma Velids is active the first half of January.