Vela Supernova Remnant Wide View

Vela Supernova Remnant Wide View

6-Panel Narrowband Mosaic

Constellation: Vela
Ra: 8h 40m 20s
Dec: -44d 15m 38s
Distance: 800 light years
Image Size: 7.8 x 5.2 deg
North: Up; East left



A star about 800 light years distant exploded in the southern constellation of Vela 11,000 – 12,000 years ago. The ejected material expanded into the surrounding interstellar medium at incredibly high speeds and temperatures, ionizing gas and causing it to glow, not only in optical wavelengths shown in the image, but also in X-Ray and Radio wavelengths. This is the Vela supernova remnant. The bluish-green tendril structures shown in the image are the shock fronts from this interaction. Eventually, these features will dissipate as they expand and cool. The explosion left a rapidly rotating (every 89 milliseconds) neutron star, referred to as the Vela Pulsar, which astronomers discovered in 1968. Its location is shown in the annotated image below. The Puppis A supernova remnant is also shown in this image in the upper right, but it is much further away at 6,500-7,000 light years.

This was a joint project with my observatory partner, Josep Drudis ( at the facility at Siding Spring, NSW, Australia, and could not have been done without his patience and perseverance. It represents seamlessly stitching together 6 separate panels that included at total of 53.4 hours of exposures. This is primarily a narrowband image, with the main goal of emphasizing the shock front structures. Hydrogen-alpha (H-a) was color-mapped to red-magenta and Oxygen (OIII) to blue-green (teal). Star colors were augmented with short exposures from red, green and blue filters. We made a synthetic “super-luminance” from these data, and augmented it with high-resolution data that we have both taken on the CDK20 0.5m f/6.8 reflector, such as NGC 2736 and others, which can be found on our respective web sites.

Exposure: 53.4 hrs Total: 22.3 H-a, 25.7 OIII, 5.4 RGB
Telescope: Takahashi TOA130 Super-Reduced to 760mm f/5.8
Mount: PlaneWave Ascension 200h
Oag: Astrodon MonsterMOAG
Acquisition: ACP-Expert
Calibration: CCDStack2
Observatory Site: iTelescope, Siding Spring, NSW, Australia
Camera: SBIG STX 16803
Filters: Astrodon 5nm H-a, 3nm OIII, Gen 2 RGB
Guider: Starlight Xpress Lodestar
Camera Operation: Maxim 5.24
Processing: Photoshop CC 2019
Image Date: 03/13/2019 - 04/12/2019


  1. Sakib

    OMG that is epic! You even have Puppis A in the top right corner!

  2. Alfredo Beltran


    Thank you very much for sharing it, Don


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