The discovery of a new type of low-surface-brightness reflection nebula around aging stars has provided important clues about how stars lose mass and form planetary nebulae. "The results from a recently completed optical imaging survey of proto-planetary nebula candidates has shown us that stars don't lose mass in a spherically symmetric way at the ends of their lives," said Margaret Meixner, a professor of astronomy at the University of Illinois. "Some other process of mass loss, such as an axisymmetric superwind, is occurring."
The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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