White Dwarfs

The hot, dense core of a once-normal star 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

Zombie Stars The night of the living dead stars Thursday, July 17, 2014
Dubhe A bright orphan in the Big Dipper Saturday, February 15, 2014
Z Machine IV Astronomy in a test tube Thursday, February 6, 2014
Z Machine III Making a star in a bottle Wednesday, February 5, 2014
EX Hydrae Two small but busy stars Thursday, December 19, 2013
Sirius Rising The right season for the Dog Star Friday, December 6, 2013
Pleiades White Dwarf A star that went gently into the night Saturday, October 12, 2013
‘Medium’ Nova A mid-size stellar explosion Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Planetary Debris Rocky evidence of planetary systems Monday, March 11, 2013
Procyon A pair of stellar light bulbs Friday, February 22, 2013
Bigger Diamonds Real astronomical “sparklers” Friday, January 11, 2013
More Sirius A stellar weight-loss program Sunday, December 30, 2012
Multiple Blasts Multiple explosions from a single star Friday, November 2, 2012
White-Dwarf Planets II Dead stars consume dead planets Wednesday, October 17, 2012
White-Dwarf Planets Close planets around dead stars Tuesday, October 16, 2012
H-R Diagram Drawing the lives of the stars Saturday, July 7, 2012
Star in a Bottle Making a bottleful of starstuff Friday, April 13, 2012
Cosmic Clocks The ticking of cosmic clocks Thursday, April 12, 2012
White Dwarf Quakes Stars that “quake” in the night Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Little Dwarfs The smallest white-dwarf stars Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Stellar Suicide A double suicide among the stars Monday, April 9, 2012
NuSTAR Dead stars tell some important tales Wednesday, March 14, 2012
White Dwarfs III Dead planets around dead stars? Friday, February 3, 2012
White Dwarfs II Stretching the light of a dead star Thursday, February 2, 2012
White Dwarfs Squeezing the heart of a dead star Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Moon and Aldebaran Looking at the Sun’s bright future Sunday, September 18, 2011
Alphard Getting dumped on by a neighbor Sunday, April 24, 2011
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar Cruising toward the stars Monday, October 18, 2010
Chasing Dogs Chasing a pair of dogs Saturday, September 25, 2010
Nova Cygni 1975 A temporary tail feather for the swan Sunday, August 29, 2010
Messy Demise Lively goings-on from dead stars Monday, March 22, 2010
Nova T Pyxidis Building up to a stellar suicide Sunday, March 7, 2010
Regal Explosions A little star that packed a punch Thursday, November 5, 2009
RS Ophiuchi One star gives, another takes Monday, June 1, 2009
Rasalhague A preview of coming attractions Sunday, May 31, 2009
More Axions Dark matter from "dead" stars Friday, May 22, 2009
Polluted Stars Planetary building blocks around dead stars Monday, May 18, 2009
Hydra Two steps in the future of the Sun Saturday, February 7, 2009
Sirius B The dead companion of a bright neighbor Friday, January 9, 2009

Featured Images

A discharge of energy from the Z Machine at Sandia National Laboratories
Zapped! Monday, February 3, 2014
Beams of light shine through the Egg Nebula
Stellar Headlights Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Sirius B, the white-dwarf companion to Sirius, compared to the size of Earth
Stellar Afterlife Wednesday, February 1, 2012
RS Ophiuchi Monday, June 1, 2009
Last Hurrah Saturday, February 17, 2007
Dog and Pup Show Thursday, January 5, 2006

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