Red Giant Star Facts for Kids

A Picture of a Red Giant Star
  • Common Name: Red Giant
  • Type of Star: Giant Star
  • Mass: Between 0.3 and 8 solar mass
  • First Discovered: Unknown
  • Discovered by: Unknown
  • Examples: Gacrux and Arcturus

14 Red Giant Star Facts for Kids

  1. A red giant is a giant star in the late stage of its stellar evolution that has exhausted its supply of hydrogen.
  2. Red giant stars have a yellow-orange to red appearance.
  3. A star with a solar mass between 0.3 and 8.0 will evolve into red giant.
  4. The average surface temperature of a red giant is between 4,000 and 5,800 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. The nearest class M red giant star is Cacrux (Gamma Crucis) at 88.6 light-years away.
  6. The nearest class K red giant star is Arcturus at 36.7 light-years away.
  7. Aldebaran is an example of a red giant that belongs to the red-giant branch.
  8. Hamal is an example of a red giant that belongs to the red-clump giants.
  9. Mira is an example of a red giant that belongs to the asymptotic giant branch.
  10. One of the biggest red giants ever discovered is VY Canis Majoris, its 3,900 light-years from Earth, over 1,400 times bigger than our sun and over 250,000 times brighter.
  11. Red giants can have a stable habitable zone for two to three billion years, allowing life to theoretically develop on planets within the habitable zone.
  12. Red giants that are known to have planets are HD 208527, HD 208527, Gamma Cephei, Iota Draconis and Pollux.
  13. Our Sun will become a red giant in the next 5 to 6 billion years. At its peak brightness, it will be thousands of times brighter, but the surface temperature will be about 50% cooler than today.
  14. The fate of Earth is unknown when our Sun becomes a red giant. It could be consumed by the Sun as it starts to expand or due to a weaker gravitational hold, pushing Earth away as it expands.

Additional Resources with Red Giant Star Facts