White Dwarfs & Planetary Nebulae: Crash Course Astronomy #30

Today Phil follows up last week’s look at the death of low mass stars with what comes next: a white dwarf. White dwarfs are incredibly hot and dense objects roughly the size of Earth. They also can form planetary nebulae: huge, intricately detailed objects created when the wind blown from the dying stars is lit up by the central white dwarf. They only last a few millennia. The Sun probably won’t form one, but higher mass stars do.

Table of Contents
When low mass stars die they form white dwarfs 0:54
White dwarfs are roughly the size of Earth 2:16
Cloudy with a chance of Planetary Nebulae 3:59
Life Span 9:06

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Journey to the centre of the Sun http://www.spacetelescope.org/videos/astro_ac/ [credit: ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. L. Christensen)]
Blowing Bubbles http://chandra.harvard.edu/resources/animations/pne.html [credit: (NASA/CXC/April Jubett)]
Artist’s impression of the sizes of Sirius B and the Earth http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0516c/ [credit: ESA and NASA]
The Dog Star, Sirius A, and its tiny companion http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0516a/ [credit: NASA, ESA, H. Bond (STScI), and M. Barstow (University of Leicester)]
The Spirograph Nebula https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/opo0028a/ [credit: NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA]
M27, NGC6853, Dumbbell Nebula https://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im0688.html [credit: REU program/NOAO/AURA/NSF]
Soap Bubble Nebula, PN G75.5+1.7 https://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im1059.html [credit: T. A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, H. Schweiker/WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF]
Hubble Sees Supersonic Exhaust From Nebula http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/opo9738a/ [credit: Bruce Balick (University of Washington), Vincent Icke (Leiden University, The Netherlands), Garrelt Mellema (Stockholm University), and NASA/ESA]
Hubble snaps NGC 5189 http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1220a/ [credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)]
A dying star’s toxic legacy http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1110a/ [credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA]
Eskimo Nebula http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_762.html [credit: NASA/Andrew Fruchter (STScI)]
Planetary nebula Abell 39 http://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im0636.html [credit: WIYN/NOAO/NSF]
The Butterfly Hunter http://chandra.harvard.edu/resources/animations/pne.html [credit: (NASA/CXC/April Jubett)]
Red Giant Sun (video) http://www.spacetelescope.org/videos/hst15_red_giant_sun/ [credit: ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. L. Christensen)]
The planetary nebula Abell 33 captured using ESO’s Very Large Telescope https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_planetary_nebula_Abell_33_captured_using_ESO%27s_Very_Large_Telescope.jpg [credit: ESO, Wikimedia Commons]
ESO’s VLT images the planetary nebula IC 1295 http://www.eso.org/public/usa/images/eso1317a/ [credit: ESO]
Looking Down a Barrel of Gas at a Doomed Star http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1999/01/image/a/ [credit: The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA)]