The Vela SuperNova Remnant. A wide field mosaic

Click on the image for a larger version

This image is a 6-panel mosaic, taken with a TOA 130 refractor, grabbing a total of about 7.8×5.2 degrees. It is the result of a joint project with Don Goldman (I am his telescope partner). He uploaded this image in his web site here. His invaluable help has been determining in this final version. It is a deep narrowband (Halpha and OIII) image, with about 53.4 hours of total exposure (including 5.4 hours of short RGB exposures in order to get more natural star colors). The Ha-OIII superluminance has been enriched with 14 higher resolution images taken with the 20 inch reflector, in order to show better resolution across the image. This inclusion would add up over 100 more hours to the final exposure time.

This version supersedes my previous one with a narrower field of view.

This fine (and faint) nebula is what remains after a supernova explosion that took place about 12,000 years ago. The remains of the star that originated it are located approx. at the center of the lower center bubble (see annotated copy below). This star is now a pulsar, a neutron star emitting a strong beam of radio signals that we only can detect it when it is pointing towards us. As it rotates with a regular rotation speed (quite often varying slowly enough, so that in a limited timeframe, it can be considered constant) the beam is regularly getting bright and disappears until the rotation makes it to point us. This pulsar spins more than 11 times each second, bringing the period between bright peaks to 89 milliseconds…  The pulsar has a magnitude (+23) that is far too faint for it to appear in this image.

Additional Information


Name(s): Vela SNR

Type: SuperNova remnant

RA:  08h 41m 11s

Dec: -44º 45’ 12”

Constellation: Vela

Size: 7×5 degrees

Magnitude: +12

Distance: 800 ly


Date: 2019-03-13 to 2019-04-12

Location:, SSO near Coonabarabran, NSW Australia

Size (arcmin): 7.8×5.2 deg

Telescope: Planewave CDK 20” f/6.8

Camera: SBIG STX16803 (4096x4096pix)

Guiding: Astrodon MonsterMOAG off-axis guider

Total exposure: 53.4 hrs (Ha: 22.3h; OIII: 25.7h; RGB: 5.4h)

Processing: CCDStack, Photoshop CC 2019

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