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White Dwarfs

The hot, dense cores of once-normal stars like the Sun. At the end of such a star’s life, it can no longer produce the nuclear-fusion reactions that power it. Its outer layers drift away into space, while its core collapses into a ball that is as about as massive as the Sun but no bigger than Earth. This is the fate of stars that do not exceed about four to eight times the mass of the Sun. The Sun reaches this stage in a few hundred million to several billion years, depending on the star’s original mass. A white dwarf may spin rapidly, is extremely hot, and may generate a strong magnetic field.

Radio Programs

Explode or Not? A pair of stars with an unclear fate July 9, 2023

Dead and Dying A dead and dying star system April 6, 2023

Procyon “Weighty” differences between stars February 18, 2023

Overdue Eruption A tardy stellar outburst July 13, 2022

Doomed Stars Doomed stars with a bright future June 11, 2022

Moon and Regulus Four stars for the price of one March 15, 2022

Procyon A before-and-after pair of stars January 22, 2022

Busy Binary A busy star system for the unicorn January 7, 2022

White Dwarfs Squeezing the heart of a star December 3, 2021

Moon and Regulus Looking for a faint companion November 25, 2021

Necroplanetology A field of study just made for Halloween October 31, 2021

Seeing Double Seeing double in the evening sky June 5, 2021

T Pyxidis A star that’s not a good neighbor April 14, 2021

Novas Brief renewals for dead stars April 13, 2021

Sakurai’s Star A brief rebirth for a “dead” star February 24, 2021

Procyon Whittling away at the stars January 17, 2021

Moon and Regulus The lion’s quadruple heart December 5, 2020

Making Carbon Making elements essential for life November 7, 2020

Blowing Off Steam A star that likes to blow off steam August 5, 2020

Nova Vulpecula A star destroys its companion June 20, 2020

Heavyweight Merger A merger of heavyweight stars June 2, 2020

Hardy Planet Surviving the death of a star March 31, 2020

Dog Stars A pair of dogs in the night sky January 18, 2020

Sirius B The faint remnant of an impressive star December 27, 2018

Manganese An exploded star in a bowl of oatmeal November 21, 2018

Future Supernova A busy star with a violent future June 5, 2018

Future Blast A future blast from a galactic neighbor October 27, 2017

Blue Snowball Lighting up a blue snowball October 26, 2017

Evidence of a Planet Early evidence of a planet? October 24, 2017

Van Maanen’s Star Discovering a faint loner September 12, 2017

Zapped! A dead star zaps a close companion July 5, 2017

Featured Images

white dwarf destroys and orbiting companion

Ghoulish Star October 31, 2021

Life cycle of the Sun

Lifetime of a Star January 25, 2021

artist's concept of a system with a white dwarf and a brown dwarf

Hot and Cold August 22, 2020

Nova Vulpecula

Deadly Hourglass June 20, 2020

Artist's concept of AR Scorpii

Pulsing Corpse July 5, 2017

Abell 78, a planetary nebula

Last Round July 28, 2015