The growth of helium-burning cores

Hendrik Spruit

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Helium burning in the convective cores of horizontal branch and red clump stars appears to involve a process of “ingestion” of unburnt helium into the core, the physics of which has not been clearly identified yet. I show here that a limiting factor controlling the growth is the buoyancy of helium entering the denser C+O core. It yields a growth rate that scales directly with the convective luminosity of the core and agrees with constraints on core size from current asteroseismology.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL2
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • stars: evolution
  • convection
  • stars: horizontal-branch

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