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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

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

Procyon The revenge of the scrawny January 23, 2016

Sirius Two dogs that are moving apart — after this. January 10, 2016

Featured Images

Artist's concept of AR Scorpii

Pulsing Corpse July 5, 2017

Abell 78, a planetary nebula

Last Round July 28, 2015

A discharge of energy from the Z Machine at Sandia National Laboratories

Zapped! February 3, 2014

Beams of light shine through the Egg Nebula

Stellar Headlights May 1, 2012

Sirius B, the white-dwarf companion to Sirius, compared to the size of Earth

Stellar Afterlife February 1, 2012