Friday, September 20, 2013

Red-Dwarfs: The Curious Stars That Can Live 10 TRILLION Years

As we mentioned a few days ago, the sun was once thought to be an extraordinary star. When, in reality, the sun is merely average. The only thing that sets it apart from its counterparts is us; the fact that it is the only star known to host a planet with conscious, intelligent lifeforms. This revelation came after the discovery of the true number of red-dwarfs that are scattered about the galaxy. Stars of this type are known to be low-mass, exceptionally dim and kind of unstable - making them very difficult to see without employing special tools. But perhaps more astonishing is the fact that they can survive for trillions of years before becoming obsolete - compared to the expected ten billion year life-spans of sunlike stars.

Before going in to how this is possible; first, we must establish how the stars are classified. Astronomers categorize stars of this type by their mass - with all stars that contain about half of the total mass of the sun included. At the maximum, the mass of these stars can become about 7.5% of the sun. Any less than this and they would no longer be capable of sustaining nuclear fusion in their cores - relegating them to a brown dwarf (or a "failed star").

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