Cecilia Payne Gaposchkin, astronomer of the University Observatory, spoke last night at the last of the series of "Open Nights" lectures. Her subject was "New Stars for Old."
Dr. Gaposchkin said that while it is not yet known what causes the stellar explosion that is called a new star, it is now known what happens to it once the explosion has taken place. The exploding star turns into a planetary nebula.
"Now it is possible to show that the two have the same habitat," said Dr. Gaposchkin, summarizing the achievement, "that both are expanding; that both are centered on very hot stars of the same kind; that both shine with similar spectra; that they are even alike in outward appearance. In fact, they are different stages of the same object--the new star is the bursting chrysalis, the nebula, the butterfly."