The Death of Sun-Like Stars

Dr. Stacy Palen
Department of Physics
Weber State University

Stars like the Sun die by shedding their outer layers into a large shell known as a planetary nebula.  At one time, we thought we completely understood this process. But the improved imaging capabilities of space telescopes, and, more recently, ground-based telescopes showed that we didn't understand anything at all.  Images of these objects leave us with the question: how does a round star create a shell that is so decidedly not-round?  Dr. Palen will address recent steps forward in answering this question, along with some related research about the Sun that may connect and give insight into death of the Sun itself.

Planetary Nebula M2-9