NGC 2736, the 'Pencil nebula' in Vela
AAO image reference AAT 84.    « Previous || Next »

NGC 2736, the Pencil nebula, part of the Vela supernova remnant NGC2736.jpg
Top left is NE. Image width is about 13 arc min
Image and text © 1994-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin.


This is an outlying wisp of the Vela supernova remnant (SNR), almost the only sign of the eastern part of this vast bubble of expanding shock wave from a stellar explosion 12,000 years ago. Though clearly detected with radio and X-ray telescopes, the Vela SNR is partially hidden to optical observers. Many fine, tangled filaments are seen in the western part of the nebula, but in the east, most of it is hidden in dust. This is one of the brighter eastern fragments, and its unusual linear appearance in the telescope was remarked on by Sir John Herschel who discovered to nebula in the 1840s. This spindly shape is the source of its popular name.

Related Images
AAT 78.    Part of the Vela supernova remnant
AAT 78a.  Part of the Vela supernova remnant (wide angle, no satellite trail)
AAT 78b.  Part of the Vela supernova remnant (wide angle, with satellite trail)
AAT 84.    NGC 2736, the 'Pencil nebula' in Vela
UKS 2.     The Vela supernova remnant
UKS 2a.   The Vela supernova remnant and part of the Gum nebula
UKS 2b.    Position of the Vela pulsar in the Vela supernova remnant
INT 7.       NGC 6955 and IC 1340, part of the Veil nebula
INT 8.       IC 1340, part of the Veil nebula
Constellation of Vela (external site)

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, August 1