The Sails of the Ship (lat. Vela) is a large constellation of the southern hemisphere. You may find in it severalopen star clusters, a planetary nebula and aglobular cluster. Two of its bright stars, δ and κ Velorum, combined with the stars ι and ε Carinae are often mistaken for theSouthern Cross. Overall, it contains five stars that have at least a magnitude of 3.
Argo Navis was the talking ship of the hero Jason, with whom he traveled to Colchis. There he tried with the help ofHerculesand thetwinsCastor and Pollux to steal the Golden Fleece, the fur of the sacrificedAries. Jason’s half-brother Pelias was brought to the throne - to get it back himself, Jason should bring him the golden fur, which seemed to be an almost impossible act, as the Golden Fleece was guarded by adragonin a sacred grove. Ultimately, the king's daughter Medea helped the hero to own the Fleece. In honor of all those involved, the Argo Navis and the Golden Fleece were consecrated as constellations.
As part of the Argo Navis,Ptolemyadded it to the 48 ancient constellations. Later, in 1763, thanks to the French astronomerNicolas de Lacaille, it became its own constellation. Lacaille thought that the constellation of Argo Navis was too large, so he divided it into the Sails, the Stern (lat. Puppis) and the Keel (lat. Carina).