Vela Pulsar

Vela Pulsar

X-ray emission nebula surrounding the Vela Pulsar imaged by the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

The Vela Pulsar (PSR 0833-45) is a pulsar associated with the Vela Supernova Remnant and lying at a distance of about 815 light-years in the constellation Vela. It is one of the youngest pulsars known and one of the few that has been detected at visible wavelengths. The lengthening of its short period of 89 milliseconds by 10.7 nanoseconds per day gives a maximum age of some 11,000 years. In 1977, nine years of its discovery, it was seen to be flashing at visible wavelengths and thus became the second optical pulsar on record, after the Crab Pulsar. It is also one of the strongest radio pulsars, the strongest gamma-ray source in the sky, and a powerful X-ray source associated with Vela X-2.