PROSPERITY FP7 Project: NASA astronomers take a closer look inside red giant stars
Apr 1, 2011
We already know that medium-mass stars become red giants when they run out of hydrogen to fuse. But what happens after that? The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Kepler mission is offering such a clear view of changes in their brightness that astronomers can find clues about when red giants are hot enough to crack out the helium created from hydrogen fusion.
The astronomers' preliminary findings about what is happening inside red giant stars are presented in this week's issue of Nature journal. The study was partially funded by the 'Probing stellar physics and testing stellar evolution through asteroseismology' (PROSPERITY) project, which received a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant worth nearly EUR 2.5 million under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).