Why do low-mass stars become red giants?

Richard James Stancliffe, Alessandro Chieffi, John Charles Lattanzio, Ross Peter Church

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19 Citations (Scopus)


We revisit the problem of why stars become red giants. We modify the physics of a standard stellar evolution code in order to determine what does and what does not contribute to a star becoming a red giant. In particular, we have run tests to try to separate the effects of changes in the mean molecular weight and in the energy generation. The implications for why stars become red giants are discussed. We find that while a change in the mean molecular weight is necessary (but not sufficient) for a 1-MaS? star to become a red giant, this is not the case in a star of 5 MaS?. It therefore seems that there may be more than one way to make a giant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203 - 208
Number of pages6
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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