Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2015 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, Daniele L. Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Daniel Rouan, Tilman Spohn, Stéphane Tirard, Michel Viso

Red Dwarf

  • Nikos Prantzos
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44185-5_1353


The smallest (M∼0.75–0.1 M), coolest (T < 3,500 K), and least luminous (L∼10−3–0.1 L) fusion-powered stars, of spectral type M or late K, are called red dwarfs. They are the most numerous stars in the galaxy: 20 out of 30 stars in the solar neighborhood (including our nearest neighbor, Proxima Centauri) belong to this class. The less massive of them live up to 1013 years and all of them are still on the early main sequence phase. In a few cases, planets have been found orbiting red dwarf stars.

See Also

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut d’Astrophysique de ParisParisFrance