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Fraser
2004-Jan-13, 06:15 PM
SUMMARY: New research from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory may help to explain the formation and shape of many planetary nebulae. The culprit might just be binary star systems, where two stars orbit a common centre of gravity. Astronomers believe that planetary nebulae are caused when white dwarf stars slough off their outer layers, but they couldn't explain how the nebulae could form jets of material or unusual lobes and prominences. A second star orbiting the dying white dwarf could whip up the outer layers into the strange shapes astronomers see.

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VanderL
2004-Jan-13, 07:04 PM
I think the planetary nebulae are better explained as the result of a fissioning event where either a new star has been born or where a large planet is formed (through ejection from the star). Electricity (and its brother magnetism) can also easily form jets where particles can be accelerated to relativistic velocities. The result we see is a giant plasma shell surrounding the star and following the electrical currents that caused the fissioning event in the first place. If I read the article correctly it could be true that planetary nebulae are almost exclusively found in binary (or multiple) systems.
Cheers.

Tiny
2004-Jan-13, 07:08 PM
Very interseting ^^ when a star goes through a red giant phase and then expels most of its outer material which creating a planetary nebula until only the hot core remains, which then settles down to become a young white dwarf. :lol:
See : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_nebula