Pre-main Sequence Evolution and the Hydrogen-Burning Minimum Mass
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There is a lower limit to the mass of the main-sequence stars (the hydrogen-burning minimum mass) below which the stars cannot replenish the energy lost from their surfaces with the energy released by the hydrogen burning in their cores. This is caused by the electron degeneracy in the stars which suppresses the increase of the central temperature with contraction. To find out the lower limit we need the accurate knowledge of the pre-main sequence evolution of very low-mass stars in which the effect of electron degeneracy is important. We review how Hayashi and Nakano (1963) carried out the first determination of this limit.
KeywordsStellar Mass Hydrostatic Equilibrium Degenerate Electron Hydrogen Burning Polytropic Index
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