The Flowchart of Stellar Evolution

Question 10

10. Core runs out of H. What happens to the star? What is it called?

The core contracts and heats up. A shell of hydrogen fusion ignites, and the Helium in the core starts fusing into Carbon via the triple-alpha process. Since the energy output (luminosity) from the core has increased, the rest of the star expands (swells up) and the surface cools down. The star is now a Red Giant.

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Adapted from an activity by Luis Mendoza.