The Vela pulsar is a neutron star from a supernova that exploded 10,000 years ago. It spins 11 times a second. The Crab Nebula along with the central Crab Pulsar formed 1000 years ago. This pulsar spins 30 times a second. If there's a famous Crab Pulsar with a nebula, is there a Vela Nebula in which the Vela Pulsar is within?

  • $\begingroup$ there's this pretty interesting looking thing, but experts will have to chime in on what is or isn't or can be or can't be considered an actual nebula commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 2:20
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh So there's a Vela Supernova Remnant $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 2:22
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    $\begingroup$ I didn't know until just now either! Unrelated factoid in HSM SE: Who first reported the Crab pulsar's pulsing but was dismissed by an astronomer? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 2:26
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh Why was the Crab's pulsing originally dismissed by astronomers? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 2:28
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    $\begingroup$ Have a look at the story described there, it's interesting... $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 2:39

2 Answers 2


The Vela Pulsar (PSR J0835-4510 or PSR B0833-45) is a radio, optical, X-ray- and gamma-emitting pulsar associated with the Vela Supernova Remnant in the constellation of Vela.

First line of the Wikipedia entry on the Vela pulsar.

It's obviously much more spread out and diffuse than the Crab nebula because it occurred more than 10 times as long ago.

Here it is as an optical image, roughly 6 degrees across and almost entirely filled by the supernova remnant. (The arrow marks the position of the Vela pulsar, which is distinctly off-centre.)

Vela supernova remnant

The first picture on the Wikipedia page is

Vela PWN

which shows the pulsar wind nebula around the Vela pulsar. This again has an analogy with the Crab pulsar (and looks similar) and is due to the interaction of relativistic particles emitted by the pulsar with their surroundings and the strong magnetic fields. The picture is taken in X-rays and is only a few arcminutes across.

  • $\begingroup$ @TypeIA That's because it IS the cloud-shaped outline that fills almost the whole image ! $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for that clarification and for adding the note about the arrow. It is clear now, even to this amateur :-) $\endgroup$
    – TypeIA
    Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 13:59

This source, https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190110.html, an astronomy Picture of the Day states that the Vela remnant "is likely embedded in a larger and older supernova remnant, the Gum Nebula".

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    $\begingroup$ I didn't know that, thanks $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 4:43

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