Home (Helium Flash)


Home » Astronomy » Helium Flash


Helium Flash

Astronomy  Helium  Helium-3

A helium flash occurs because the core of the star is in what is known as a "degenerate" state.

The helium flash is correctly named, because unlike most phases of stellar evolution, the flash itself occurs over a matter of minutes rather than millions of years.

Helium Flash
The onset of runaway helium burning under degenerate conditions. The helium flash occurs in the hydrogen-exhausted core of a star in the red-giant phase of evolution.

helium flash
The nearly explosive beginning of helium burning in the dense core of a red giant star.
Herbig-Haro objects
Small, luminous nebulae associated with the end points of jets emanating from young stars.


The explosive start of nuclear reactions converting helium into carbon in the core of an aging star.

Helium Flash
The explosive ignition of helium burning that takes place in some giant stars.
Herbig-Haro Object ...

Helium Flash - The explosive consumption of helium in the core of a star when helium fusion begins in a degenerate gas in which pressure doesn't rise as energy is produced and temperature increases ...

For stars comparable in mass to the Sun, there is a major complication when helium fusion begins.

helium flash An explosive event in the post-main-sequence evolution of a low-mass star. When helium fusion begins in a dense stellar core, the burning is explosive in nature.

helium flash - (n.)
A rapid burst of nuclear reactions in the degenerate core of a moderate-mass star in the hydrogen shell-burning phase.

Helium Flash: In certain low-mass stars when they become red giants their cores are supported by electron-degeneracy pressure.

No Helium Flash, but steady Helium fusion
Planetary Nebula
Carbon/Oxygen rich White Dwarf ...

After the helium flash one is left with a star in a new equilibrium: a core burning helium into carbon and a surrounding hydrogen-burning shell. Such a star now settles in for a period as a horizontal branch star.

helium flash The sudden onset of helium core fusion (or "burning") in post-main sequence stars is called the helium flash.

helium flash Somewhat sudden and rapid ignition of helium in the electron-degenerate core of a star, after which the star settles down to fusing helium quietly into carbon.

helium flash in low-mass red giant stars, the onset of the fusing of helium in the core can be very rapid, almost explosive. hertz (Hz): unit of frequency. One hertz = 1 wave peak/second.

The stage when a star fuses helium into carbon and oxygen. All stars born with more than half a solar mass eventually burn helium. [C95]
Helium Flash ...

Red Giant - Helium Flash
As the Helium core of the star contracts, nuclear reactions continue in a shell surrounding the core.

At this point the density and temperature will become so high that the fusion of helium into carbon will begin, leading to a helium flash; the Sun will shrink from around 250 to 11 times its present (main sequence) radius.

When the temperature and pressure in the core become sufficient to ignite helium fusion in the core, a helium flash will occur if the core is largely supported by electron degeneracy pressure; in more massive stars, ...

Medium-mass stars ( ) exhaust hydrogen in their cores, fuse hydrogen in their shells, become giant stars, undergo helium flash, fuse helium in their shells around a carbon-oxygen core.

Once the helium core reaches 100 million degrees, it explosively begins fusing helium. The birth of the active helium core is called the helium flash. The Sun as a red giant will fuse helium for about 2 billion years after the helium flash.

years ago, and having begun its evolution as a giant only 13 million years ago, the star seems now to be entering a phase in which deep helium- and hydrogen-fusing shells alternately turn on and off, the former violently, leading to a "helium flash" ...

See also: See also: Helium, Star, Sun, Astro, Main Sequence

Astronomy  Helium  Helium-3

RSS Mobile