Loading...

Glossary term: Red Dwarf

Also known as M dwarf

Description: A red dwarf is a small low mass star with an effective temperature below 3600 degrees Celsius which appears red to the human eye. Stars with masses between about 8% and 50% of the mass of the Sun spend the vast majority of their lives as red dwarfs. These stars fuse hydrogen at a much slower rate than stars like the Sun and are thus fainter, but can sustain hydrogen fusion for much longer. Red dwarfs have very strong magnetic fields which result in more magnetic storms and a higher number of starspots than stars like the Sun. The majority of stars in the Milky Way are red dwarfs. Red dwarfs make up 75% of the stars within 10 parsecs of the Sun.

Related Terms:


See this term in other languages

Term and definition status: This term and its definition is still awaiting approval

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".