White Dwarfs & Planetary Nebulae 
White Dwarfs & Planetary Nebulae
by Crash Course
Video Lecture 30 of 47
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Date Added: August 11, 2016

Lecture Description

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 www.spacetelescope.org/videos/astro_ac/ [credit: ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. L. Christensen)]
Blowing Bubbles chandra.harvard.edu/resources/animations/pne.html [credit: (NASA/CXC/April Jubett)]
Artist's impression of the sizes of Sirius B and the Earth www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0516c/ [credit: ESA and NASA]
The Dog Star, Sirius A, and its tiny companion www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0516a/ [credit: NASA, ESA, H. Bond (STScI), and M. Barstow (University of Leicester)]
The Spirograph Nebula www.spacetelescope.org/images/opo0028a/ [credit: NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA]
M27, NGC6853, Dumbbell Nebula www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im0688.html [credit: REU program/NOAO/AURA/NSF]
Soap Bubble Nebula, PN G75.5+1.7 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 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 www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1220a/ [credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)]
A dying star’s toxic legacy www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1110a/ [credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA]
Eskimo Nebula www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_762.html [credit: NASA/Andrew Fruchter (STScI)]
Planetary nebula Abell 39 www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im0636.html [credit: WIYN/NOAO/NSF]
The Butterfly Hunter chandra.harvard.edu/resources/animations/pne.html [credit: (NASA/CXC/April Jubett)]
Red Giant Sun (video) 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 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 www.eso.org/public/usa/images/eso1317a/ [credit: ESO]
Looking Down a Barrel of Gas at a Doomed Star hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1999/01/image/a/ [credit: The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA)]

Course Index

Course Description

In this Crash Course series, marvel at the wonders of astronomy with your host for this intergalactic adventure, the Bad Astronomer himself -- Phil Plait. In just 40 short lessons, you will learn the basics of the oldest science known to humanity.

Be sure to check out links to relevant Photos in the description for each video.


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