News Release Archive:

News Release 366 of 1051

June 3, 2008 10:40 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2008-21

White Dwarf Lost in Planetary Nebula


Image: Evolution of Triple Star System Planetary Nebula SuWt 2

Evolution of Triple Star System Planetary Nebula SuWt 2

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1. Triple star system consists of two white A stars in a tight orbit, and a more massive, hotter star.

2. More massive star evolves quickly and expands into a red giant.

3. The tight binary pair is engulfed by the red giant.

4. The binary pair "stirs" the red giant's shell, forming a thick disk.

5. Bipolar lobes form above and below the disk to make a planetary nebula. The star's core shrinks down to a white dwarf.

Object Name: SuWt 2

Image Type: Illustration

Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)


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