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A red dwarf is the smallest type of star that is able to sustain a fusion reaction in its core. Red Dwarfs are the smallest type of star that could have a habitable planet in its orbit and have a temperature of 2500 - 4000 kelvin.

Red dwarfs live very long, in any case longer than the universe is old now. Therefore they are so numerous. In groups of new born stars they haven't got this frequency, because the bigger stars are all still there.

Many red dwarfs should have planets. But with red light photosynthesis is more difficult and less effective. So life there would have different conditions. Furthermore planets, that are near enough to get sufficient energy, are tidally locked. This means, they show their star always the same side. It is debatable if under such conditions the planet could keep an atmosphere, but if so there would be very strong storms.

Stars aren't quiet on their surface. There are often eruptions, so called flares. Many young red dwarfs are flare stars with frequent and heavy eruptions, increasing their brightness enormously for a short time.

Subdwarfs are very old stars which lie below the main sequence. So they are too dim for their color. The reason for this is that due to their age they contain only very few heavy elements.

This article is based on http://jumk.de/astronomie/about-stars/red-dwarfs.shtml which is under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licrence.

References

Kummer, Juergen. "About Stars: Red Dwarfs." Jumk.De. 15 Aug. 2007 <http://jumk.de/astronomie/about-stars/red-dwarfs.shtml>.

"Red Dwarf." Wikipedia. 15 Aug. 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_dwarf>.

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This page was last modified on 26 August 2007, at 06:08.
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