© Charles Chandler
The Egg Nebula appears to be a dusty plasma filament caught in the act of resolving into a "natural tokamak" (NT). (See Figure 1 and Figure 2.) As such, it makes an excellent case study. Its current condition corresponds to panels 3~5 in . Note that we're looking at the Egg Nebula along the plane of rotation, instead of along the axis of rotation shown in .
Thus every aspect of the Egg Nebula is within the scope of the NT model, and there isn't any necessary component of the model that is not present.
The NT model also generalizes easily to explain related star types, such as black holes, neutron stars, pulsars, magnetars, quasars, blazars, BL Lac objects, and white dwarfs. All of these star types have overlapping properties, including bipolar jets, extremely powerful magnetic fields, and non-blackbody emissions, including extreme UV radiation such as gamma rays. This is consistent with recent research that has found new parallels between the behavior of white dwarfs and black holes,4 and among black holes, blazars, quasars, and gamma-ray bursters.5 The differences among them come down to variances in the balance of forces in the same general model.
Note that as NTs, fusing lighter elements into heavier ones, and since heavier elements are harder to accelerate out of the tokamak (for inertial, electric, and magnetic reasons), we can expect an accumulation of heavy elements, up to iron, within the tokamak. And heavier elements at high temperatures are near perfect conductors. So the electrical resistance will be extremely slight, and the counter-streaming positive and negative charges will continue for a long time. Thus long-lived stellar toroidal plasmoids are possible, even if the only energy store is counter-streaming angular momentum from the original implosion.
All other factors being the same, such stars will slowly get dimmer, and eventually fade from our view. As described near the end of the Filaments section, electrical resistance will eventually eliminate the relative motion between positive and negative charges within the annulus. When this happens, all of the +ions will take up free electrons, emitting their last gasp of EM radiation before going dark. With all of the ions neutralized, there will be no "like-likes-like" force generating any tensile strength within the annulus, and there will be no net magnetic pinch to keep the annulus organized. The heavy elements will then get flung outward by centrifugal forces far too powerful for gravity to contain, and that will be the end of it. Other factors that might come into play are considered in the section on Supernovae.
1. Sahai, R. et al. (1998): The Structure of the Prototype Bipolar Protoplanetary Nebula CRL 2688 (Egg Nebula): Broadband, Polarimetric, and H2 Line Imaging with NICMOS on the Hubble Space Telescope. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 492 (2): L163-L167 ⇧ ⇧ ⇧
2. Sahai, R. et al. (1998): Imaging of the Egg Nebula (CRL 2688) with WFPC2/HST: A History of AGB/Post-AGB Giant Branch Mass Loss. Astrophysical Journal, 493: 301-311 ⇧
3. Balick, B. et al. (2011): The Illumination and Growth of CRL 2688: An Analysis of New & Archival HST Observations. ⇧ ⇧
4. Li, K. L. et al. (2012): A Luminous Be+White Dwarf Supersoft Source in the Wing of the SMC: MAXI J0158-744. arxiv, 1207.5023 ⇧
5. Nemmen, R. S. et al. (2012): A Universal Scaling for the Energetics of Relativistic Jets from Black Hole Systems. Science, 338 (6113): 1445-1448 ⇧
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