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Lifespan of red giant stars

  1. Jan 9, 2012 #1
    I have been unable to find any data or formula's on how long red giant type stars last
    other than a few million years!One would suppose that it is a function of its original mass
    and chemical composition.

    Any ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

  4. Jan 9, 2012 #3


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It is certainly mass dependent. Massive stars live hard and die young - often spectacularly. Their red giant phase may only last a few million years. A 98 pound weakling star like our sun can spend a billion or so years as a red giant before quietly retiring as a white dwarf and eventually become a cold, dark cinder, but, the universe is not nearly old enough to believe any such 'black dwarfs' yet exist.
  5. Jan 9, 2012 #4
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