Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Low Mass Star

  • Nikos Prantzos
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1505-3


Stars with an initial mass on the Zero Age Main Sequence lower than ∼1.2 M (spectral types later than G) are called low mass stars. They evolve on timescales of ∼several Gyr, fusing H through the p-p chains and going through the Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) phase of double shell (H- and He-) burning (fusion). After the Planetary nebula phase, they finally leave behind a white dwarf. They play a limited role in galactic chemical evolution, mainly by “astrating” (i.e., destroying) fragile nuclides like deuterium. Because of their long lifetimes, which would facilitate the development of complex life, they are major targets for extrasolar planet research.

See Also


Limited Role Initial Mass Mass Star Major Target White Dwarf 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut d’Astrophysique de ParisParisFrance