carbon flash

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The explosive release of energy, analogous to that in the helium flash, in a star that begins to burn carbon in a degenerate core (see degeneracy). The carbon flash occurs only in stars of 1–6 solar masses, since less massive ones never undergo a carbon-burning stage, while in more massive ones the stage occurs non-explosively in a non-degenerate core.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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