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As [link] shows, sometimes a planetary nebula appears to be a simple ring. Others have faint shells surrounding the bright ring, which is evidence that there were multiple episodes of mass loss when the star was a red giant (see image (d) in [link] ). In a few cases, we see two lobes of matter flowing in opposite directions. Many astronomers think that a considerable number of planetary nebulae basically consist of the same structure, but that the shape we see depends on the viewing angle ( [link] ). According to this idea, the dying star is surrounded by a very dense, doughnut-shaped disk of gas. (Theorists do not yet have a definite explanation for why the dying star should produce this ring, but many believe that binary stars, which are common, are involved.)

Model to explain the different shapes of planetary nebulae.

Diagram to Explain the Different Shapes of Planetary Nebulae. In the lower left-hand portion of this figure, a schematic representation of a planetary nebula is shown. A yellow ellipse, labeled “Torus” is drawn with a white dot labeled “Star” at its center. The long axis of the ellipse is oriented vertically. Several yellow arrows are drawn horizontally pointing away from the star. These are labeled “Stellar wind.” A faint figure-eight encloses the stellar wind on each side of the star and torus. Finally, a large, faint “Outer halo” surrounds the figure-eight and torus, centered on the star. At top left, directly above the star, the profile of a human eye is shown looking in the direction of the star. The line of sight is marked with a double-headed dashed arrow. What a planetary nebula would look like along this line of sight is illustrated with an image of Hubble 5 to the right of the eye. Another eye is drawn at lower right looking through the figure-eight toward the star. The line of sight is marked with a double-headed dashed arrow. What a planetary nebula would look like along this line of sight is illustrated with an image of the Helix Nebula above the eye.
The range of different shapes that we see among planetary nebulae may, in many cases, arise from the same geometric shape, but seen from a variety of viewing directions. The basic shape is a hot central star surrounded by a thick torus (or doughnut-shaped disk) of gas. The star’s wind cannot flow out into space very easily in the direction of the torus, but can escape more freely in the two directions perpendicular to it. If we view the nebula along the direction of the flow (Helix Nebula), it will appear nearly circular (like looking directly down into an empty ice-cream cone). If we look along the equator of the torus, we see both outflows and a very elongated shape (Hubble 5). Current research on planetary nebulae focuses on the reasons for having a torus around the star in the first place. Many astronomers suggest that the basic cause may be that many of the central stars are actually close binary stars, rather than single stars. (credit “Hubble 5”: modification of work by Bruce Balick (University of Washington), Vincent Icke (Leiden University, The Netherlands), Garrelt Mellema (Stockholm University), and NASA/ESA; credit “Helix”: modification of work by NASA, ESA, C.R. O’Dell (Vanderbilt University), and M. Meixner, P. McCullough)

As the star continues to lose mass, any less dense gas that leaves the star cannot penetrate the torus, but the gas can flow outward in directions perpendicular to the disk. If we look perpendicular to the direction of outflow, we see the disk and both of the outward flows. If we look “down the barrel” and into the flows, we see a ring. At intermediate angles, we may see wonderfully complex structures. Compare the viewpoints in [link] with the images in [link] .

Planetary nebula shells usually expand at speeds of 20–30 km/s, and a typical planetary nebula has a diameter of about 1 light-year. If we assume that the gas shell has expanded at a constant speed, we can calculate that the shells of all the planetary nebulae visible to us were ejected within the past 50,000 years at most. After this amount of time, the shells have expanded so much that they are too thin and tenuous to be seen. That’s a pretty short time that each planetary nebula can be observed (when compared to the whole lifetime of the star). Given the number of such nebulae we nevertheless see, we must conclude that a large fraction of all stars evolve through the planetary nebula phase. Since we saw that low-mass stars are much more common than high-mass stars, this confirms our view of planetary nebulae as sort of “last gasp” of low-mass star evolution.

Questions & Answers

Where is a moon HOW MANY KILLOMETER FAR FROM EARTH
Guddi Reply
On Average 383,000 Kilometers, Between Perigee And Apogee.....
Adam
how many stars are there in the world
ZERO Reply
we can't count them because there are infinity no. of Star
YOG
but in night sky there are approximately 100 thousand million stars
YOG
Visually speaking, there's only one in the day and a few thousand in my Tellurian corner of the world at night. And some of those stars may even be galaxies, too far to properly discern as billions points of light. The longer you gaze into the skies the more they manifest themselves. Keep watching!
Jocofranc
why people go to other planet
Rehan Reply
to explore mysteries and also for some new resources and life form
YOG
Presumably to find an alternative for our earth, since our population has been increasing at a crazy rate and we'd slowly be running out of space here, if we'd continue. Another point would be the scientific value. Apart from testing our knowledge we always hope to find a new form of life.
creative
and in future when life from earth will vanished then to maintain our existance we need a new planet.
YOG
History shows our insatiable appetite for energy. The mass tends to congregate around developed communities where energy is readily accessible. It's inevitable we will be become exo-tellurians. Necessity fuels our explorations.
Jocofranc
👏 Well said! @jocofranc knight
Jennifer
what are you think about ancient ETHIOPIAN astronomy
Eyoseyas
please
Eyoseyas
is there any book to learn about ancient Ethiopian astronomy?
Mahesh
and please tell me where I can get that book
Mahesh
you can search
Eyoseyas
the best book that can tell is ANDROMEDA
Eyoseyas
you know that many european use ancient ETHIOPIA BOOKS
Eyoseyas
fine
Mahesh
what was before big bang
Manish Reply
The creator and their empire
Mahesh
Like ur answer but submitting a light-hearted suggestion of my own : Our universe a galactic-verse of many other billions that are clustered tightly together in a super-constellate. The Big Bang was the result of a magnetic wave originating from inside the constellate desrupting our serene corner.
Jocofranc
nice to here jocofranc, please explain what is before big bang
Mahesh
This increasingly hypothetical scenario suggest that the Big Bang was created when a superwave from this so-call Super-Constellate destabilized our dormant singularity. The wave was the catalyst. When this wave stops buckling our galactic-verse, it will recede back to a singularity. Ok it was God.
Jocofranc
how fast light travel around the earth
Starbuck Reply
lol
Videos
If you could travel at the speed of light, you could go around the planet 7.5 times in one second
Greg
how was moon formed
Kosi Reply
what is steral evolution (star evolution
meron Reply
hi
Nisha
when a star's mass changes over time
Joe
hi
Joe
hi
Lisette
Hii
Asim
hi
Nisha
what big bang
Nisha
yes joe over time chang star mass
Nisha
star prouduce nucluer fusion first stag ( hydroge fusion helium- carbon-neon-oxygen-silicon- last fusion iron hevy star mass not handle iron blast super nova
Nisha
what is the worm hole theory
Nisha Reply
it states that you can travel back through time by this. It's like folding a paper into half and making two points, and there states that you can bend spacetime but according to Einstein's equation that it can break easily and only really small particles can pass through it.
Dark
dark dream what is dark matter
Nisha
what is the great filter theory
Nisha
the great filter theory it's just like the literally filtering it says that when once a civilization achieved its highest state or let's say the highest technology for instance their civilization will end.
Dark
what is radio burst
Nisha
please answer
Nisha
what is the simulatin hypothies
Nisha
smart obsevatin
Nisha
In radio astronomy, a fast radio burst (FRB) is a transient radiopulse of length ranging from a fraction of a millisecond to a few milliseconds, caused by some high-energy astrophysical process not yet identified. We can say that this can be they way to at least know if there's other civilizations~
Dark
~out there
Dark
Simulation hypothesis it proposes that the earth, the universe and the reality you are in is just an artificial simulation or like you are living in a computer simulation.
Dark
sir possible time travel
Nisha
?
Nisha
Yes. Everything is possible.
Dark
replay
Nisha
thanks
Nisha
sir how to make neutron star
Nisha
replay
Nisha
?
Nisha
sir what is the white hole?
Nisha
hi good morning
Nisha
What are you think about ancient ETHIOPIA astronomy.
Eyoseyas
and it's Geez BRANA please
Eyoseyas
why does the matter of an objects density change the fabric of space time rather than the objects volume..? (hopefully I have expressed that question properly) thanks
Daijahrel Reply
because an objects density consists of it's energy & momentum. an objects volume, for example a photon can have no density (hopefully I expressed that answer properly)
Joe
I suppose each Individual has his or hers different laws and assumptions, so it can be difficult to ask and answer physics questions, but discussions are always positive
Joe
how
Melaku
which matter use rocket
Nisha
Does their is any procedure of star making
Asim Reply
Hope That Helps.....
Adam
how to produce star and how to dead star?
Nisha
waad mahad santnihiin dhamaan waxaan doonayaa inaan wax ka barto astronomyga waa maxay xidigis?
Abdicaroog Reply
understanding astronomy
ricardo Reply
What About Understanding Astronomy?
Adam
yap
Janmarc
what is astronomy?
Janmarc
define..
Janmarc
Currently, I'm studying in 10th grade. What should I do after my 10th so that I can get an astronomy career?
Chaya Reply
try jee exam and achieve a good score in jee advance to join in IIST(Space research institute)
Sri
okay.. thanks
Chaya
Hey there I want to be an astrophysicist... and I'm grade 9... what should I do to be an astrophysicist
Aymen
Know more about space,watch movies related to space ,and to become an astrophysicist u should be very good in physics,train urself to think everything logically. Start to focus on JEE Exam ,train urself or join any institute which is good in coaching for JEE ,then if u score high ,u can join IIST
Sri
Which is the best university for Astronomy
Asim
Probably Massachusetts Institute Of Technology.....
Adam
Math Math Math, Get Familiar With All Types Of Math.....
Adam
Which subject is most important for Astronomy
Asim
Geometry, Algebra, Calculus, Trigonometry, Do Alot Of It And Often.....
Adam
I Can't Say It Enough, Math Is The Language Of The Cosmos.....
Adam
Adam you are in which university?
Asim
I Went To University But Never Finished My Degree..... Had To Work And Couldn't Afford School.....
Adam
MaryMount University..... Philosophy Of Science Major.....
Adam
It ia a cathloic University. Am i write
Asim
And its main campas is in Arlington country
Asim
No, It's In New York City.....
Adam
It's Not A Catholic University.....
Adam
Ohh sorry
Asim
Are you interested in Astronomy
Asim
IIT ain't so good for Pure Astronomy. If you want to know how the universe works,go for pure science. If you want to make spacecraft,go for Aerospace Engineering
priyanshu
Your are in which university brother
Asim
I Love Astronomy, I'm An Active Amateur Astronomer.....
Adam
I also love Astronomy very much
Asim
And to help me to solve some puzzling questions
Asim
this famous person was the first to recognise earthshine on the moin
Rajan Reply
Leonardo Da Vinci.....
Adam
what is string theory?
sakshi Reply
A Cosmological Theory Based On The Exsistence Of Cosmic Vibrating Strings.....
Adam
Good Morning Asim Ali.....
Adam
I Can't Do That, You Can Ask Me What Ever You Want.....
Adam
If you don't mind can i ask why?
Asim
Do You Understand The Millions Of People Have Access To This Site, I Wouldn't Put My Information Out There, Knowing What People With Bad Intent Can Do With Personal Information.....
Adam
Ohh sorry
Asim
My question is that, there are many collision of stars in a day So that cause black hole. But is there any procedure of star making? Hopefully i ask my question properly.
Asim
No Need To Apologize, I Will Answer Anything You Need Answered And If I Can't Answer It I Will Guide You To The Answer.....
Adam
Thier Is Only One Way Stars Are Made, Gravity Makes Matter Come Together, And When The Amount Of Matter Gets Massive Enough Nuclear Fusion Starts Up And A Star Is Born.....
Adam
What is white drawft?
Asim
A White Dwarf Is A Low Mass Star That Has Exhausted All It's Central Nuclear Fuel And Lost It's Outer Layers As A Planetary Nebula.....
Adam
what is the great filter theory
Nisha
hi adam what is great filter theory
Nisha
Well First It's Not A Theory, It's A Hypothesis, The Great Filter Hypothesis States That What Ever Causes Dead Matter To Under Go Abiogenesis(Start Of Life) Must Be Very Hard And Very Rare In Our Universe, Because So Far We Only See 1 Civilisation That Made Through All The Requirements For.....
Adam
Intelligent Life, So Far Only Our Planet Has Intelligent Life, That We Know Of, And Again This Is Only A Hypothesis, No Evidence Exist To Back This Up.....
Adam
hi adam sir
Nisha
Good Day.....
Adam
Good to see you sir
Asim
hi
Nisha
good day
Nisha
hi
Nisha
Same Here.....
Adam
What's The Good Word For The Day?
Adam
Practice Key Terms 3

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Source:  OpenStax, Astronomy. OpenStax CNX. Apr 12, 2017 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11992/1.13
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