How do red giants become white dwarfs?

1 Answer
Nov 20, 2015

At some point in the red giant's life, the last of the helium atoms in its core is fused into carbon atoms. The star begins to die. Without nuclear fusion taking place in its core, the star slowly cools and fades. Finally gravity causes the last of the star's matter to collapse inward. The matter is squeezed so tightly that the star becomes a tiny white dwarf .