helium flash


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helium flash

n
(Astronomy) astronomy the explosive burning of helium in the case of a star of low mass that occurs when the core is so dense that the matter has become degenerate. The burning causes a rapid rise in temperature until it is so high that the gas ceases to be degenerate, after which there is a rapid expansion
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It is highly unlikely that a CME contains any substantial amount of heavier elements, especially considering that the sun has not yet arrived at the point of helium flash and thus cannot begin to fuse elements heavier than helium.
However, after they leave the main sequence and start to climb the Hertsprung-Russell diagram (HRD) they do not undergo a helium flash as do their less massive cousins (Figure 1).
The star now starts to shed its outer layers in a series of thermal pulses akin to the helium flash.