Are red dwarfs red in color? Is that why they received their name? If you could take a close up picture of one what would it look like in comparison to our sun?

1 Answer
Mar 15, 2016

Red to orange. Yes. Smaller and less bright.


Red dwarf stars are small mass star and are the most common type of star in the Universe (as far as we can tell). Due to their size/mass they have less gravity than other stars and therefore fusion of hydrogen to helium is done at a slower rate. This results in a cooler temperature than our sun (for example) and a cooler temprature generally means less light.

Due to the slow rate of fusion, and the fact that the low gravity (relative to larger stars) allows the star to be fully convective (the core material mixes with the outside), the life span of red dwarf stars is quite long as they burn slowly through their fuel (rate of fusion) and they burn a higher percentage of their fuel (convective nature).

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Here is a comparison between our sun and the red dwarf DG CVn.