Hydrogen-deficient central stars of planetary nebulae


Central stars of planetary nebulae are low-mass stars on the brink of their final evolution towards white dwarfs. Because of their surface temperature of above 25,000 K their UV radiation ionizes the surrounding material, which was ejected in an earlier phase of their evolution. Such fluorescent circumstellar gas is called a "Planetary Nebula". About one-tenth of the Galactic central stars are hydrogen-deficient. Generally, the surface of these central stars is a mixture of helium, carbon, and oxygen resulting from partial helium burning. Moreover, most of them have a strong stellar wind, similar to massive Pop-I Wolf-Rayet stars, and are in analogy classified as [WC]. The brackets distinguish the special type from the massive WC stars.
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