View Full Version : Binary Systems Could Create Most Nebulae

2005-Sep-21, 10:38 AM
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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