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Cutaway of a red dwarf star

Cutaway of a red dwarf star

C034/5037

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Credit

MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Interior of a red dwarf star, artwork. Red dwarves, such as Proxima Centauri (the closest star outside the Solar System) are the most common stars in the Universe. They are generally a few times smaller than the Sun and thousands of times fainter. Indeed Proxima cannot be seen with the naked eye despite being the closest neighbouring star. Red dwarves have fully convective interiors, aside from their cores. The core, at the centre, is where the nuclear reactions are generated to hold the star up against gravity. But the rest of the star is like a giant convection heater, with heat rising and falling in giant convection cells (arrows). The Sun also has a convective layer but it only occupies a thin shell, not the entire interior.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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