Prime Focus April 2000


A planetary nebula such as NGC 6751 represents a sun-like star approaching the end of its life. In this Hubble Space Telescope image, the Hubble Heritage Team worked with US Naval Observatory astronomers led by Arsen Hajian to create a multi-filter representation. (NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA))

April TVS Highlights

  • 2 Club News and Notes brings you up to date

  • 3 What's Up in April provides observing suggestions

  • 4 Look ahead to May's best objects in the first 15 days

  • 5 Comet Comments tells us that Don Machholz will retire soon

  • 6 All about RTMC

  • 7 Project ASTRO seeks amateur astronomers

  • 7 Universe 2000 Expo set for Pasadena in July

  • 8 Membership Application

TVS Presents

   Some six billion years from now, our own Sun may come to resemble the planetary nebula captured in the shot above. Join TVS on Friday April 21, to hear club president David Anderson explain the Sun's expected evolution to this cataclysmic state. Dave will outline the birth-to-death process of stellar evolution, discussing the main sequence as illustrated in the Hertsprung-Russell Diagram.

   Dave will show photographs taken in distant star-formation regions of the galaxy that are rich in dust and gas. These formation regions are noted for emission-line nebulae. He will then explain how these proto-stars evolve on to the main sequence and into hydrostatic equilibrium. A subset of the main sequence stars resembles our Sun, with quasi-static equilibrium and thermal pressure in dynamic balance. Ultimately such stars evolve into the red giants that fluoresce as planetary nebulae.

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