This authoritative volume provides a comprehensive review of the origin and evolution of planetary nebulae. It covers all the stages of their evolution, carefully synthesizes observations from across the spectrum, and clearly explains all the key physical processes at work. Particular emphasis is placed on observations from space, using the Hubble Space Telescope, the Infrared Space Observatory, and the ROSAT satellite. This book presents a thoroughly modern understanding of planetary nebulae, integrating developments in stellar physics with the dynamics of nebular evolution. It also describes exciting possibilities such as the use of planetary nebulae in determining the cosmic distance scale, the distribution of dark matter and the chemical evolution of galaxies. This book provides graduate students with an accessible introduction to planetary nebulae, and researchers with an authoritative reference. It can also be used as an advanced text on the physics of the interstellar medium.
'! an accessible account of the origin and evolution of these enigmatic shells of gas. the generous, colourful images are the best feature of the book, but the text reveals the speedy evolution of ideas - matching the increase in data - in this complex field, as a microcosm of the way in which modern astronomy is developing.' Astronomy & Geophysics 'The book addresses three aspects of planetary nebula (PN) research: radiation mechanisms and PN evolution and the associated spin-offs in laboratory spectroscopy. Kwok's book is now the standard reference.' Irish Astronomical Journal 'This book presents a thoroughly modern understanding of planetary nebulae, integrating new developments in stellar physics with the dynamics of nebular evolution.' Europe & Astronomy '! a valuable contribution ! It offers the most complete and accessible entry to this subject for the newcomer with a strong general background in physics and astronomy at the advanced undergraduate level or above.' Physics Today '! it was a sheer pleasure to read this new book by Sun Kwok. The book is slim and stylish, characteristic of the Cambridge Astrophysics Series.' Dr X.-W. Lou, Contemporary Physics
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