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In the night sky: Orion
In the night sky: Orion

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white dwarf

A small hot star, left behind when a red giant throws off its outer layers as a planetary nebula. A white dwarf has a mass similar to that of the Sun, but a radius similar to that of the Earth. A white dwarf is supported against gravity by an effect of quantum physics known as electron degeneracy pressure.

» Orion Glossary