Entropy / Butterfly Planetary Nebula

Doug Dawn stelenes at pobox.com
Sun Sep 13 14:17:34 EDT 1998

To keep this discussion remotely on track for lep enthusiasts, in
5,000,000,000 years,after the Sun enters the red giant stage (only
1,000,000,000 years duration), it then supposedly goes through the
metamorphosis to a white dwarf.  At the very brief "ending" of the white
dwarf stage, the Sun will probably be blowing higher entropy particles
off opposite like twin jet engines forming symmetric "wings" of
particles.  This creates the most beautiful (a appropriately most
fleeting - 20,000 year life) nebula: a butterfly nebula.  M76 a such a
Messier object (accurate entropic pun), but I think a much more
beautiful one was recently photographed using Hubble, known as the
"Butterfly" or simply "M2-9":


By the way, the "spots" on the "wings" actually are moving around...

Ken, I stand corrected by a factor of about a fifth of a sextillion! (US
for 100 trillion elsewhere).  While I didn't think to count the zeros,
admittedly the difference is potentially significant.  Actually I did
mean to say 10^30 years 'til the Sun became converted into the "high
entropy postmordial intergalactic soup" devoid of even atoms, when stars
no longer exist, not a red giant.  But as you correctly observed, the
Sun supposedly will become a red giant in about 5,000,000,000 years.  I
suspect you are trying to improve the value of your Alaska property,
since at the very beginning of that time you will have an ocean and
waterways and mine will have boiled away.  Also thanks for your info on
threatened leps, it was very useful and I will let you know how the
project is going...

Best wishes.  Doug.

Kenelm Philip wrote:

>         Doug Dawn stated that our Sun has 10^30 years left before it
> becomes a red giant. According to what I learned back when I was an
> astronomer, the Sun is about 5x10^9 (5 billion) years old, and is
> about
> halfway through its life on the main sequence, before it moves off to
> enter the red giant phase. So the end is coming 2x10^20 times faster
> than Doug expects. Better get ready...
>                            Ken Philip



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