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Why red giants are giant

Whitworth, Anthony Peter 1989. Why red giants are giant. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 236 (3) , pp. 505-544. 10.1093/mnras/236.3.505

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Abstract

Four primary causes for the giantness of red giants are identified: (1) the opacity law in the lower envelope; (2) the abrupt molecular weight change across the shell; (3) convection or electron degeneracy in hydrogen-exhausted cores above a certain mass; and (4) approximate thermostatic control of the core by simultaneous hydrogen and helium burning. None of the four is shown to be hierarchically more important in giant formation. It is noted that the details of nuclear energy release are of secondary importance in determining the overall structure of giants.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Uncontrolled Keywords: Computational Astrophysics, Red Giant Stars, Stellar Evolution, Stellar Structure, Gravitational Fields, Helium, Hydrogen, Stellar Cores, Stellar Envelopes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0035-8711
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:14
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/74571

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