As if it were a butterfly, this white dwarf star begins its life by wrapping itself in a cocoon. However, in this analogy, the star would rather be the caterpillar and the cocoon of gas expelled the truly striking and beautiful stage.
The planetary nebula NGC 2440 contains one of the hottest known white dwarfs. The white dwarf looks like a bright spot near the center of the photograph. Eventually, our Sun will become a "white dwarf butterfly", but not in the next 5 billion years.
The stars known as "white dwarfs" may have diameters of only one hundredth of the Sun. They are very dense despite their small size.
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