Red Giant Star Facts
Red Giant Facts for Kids
: Red Giant
Type of Star
: Giant Star
: Between 0.3 and 8 solar mass
: Gacrux and Arcturus
14 Red Giant Star Facts for Kids
A red giant is a giant star in the late stage of its stellar evolution that has exhausted its supply of hydrogen.
Red giant stars have a yellow-orange to red appearance.
A star with a solar mass between 0.3 and 8.0 will evolve into red giant.
The average surface temperature of a red giant is between 4,000 and 5,800 degrees Fahrenheit.
The nearest class M red giant star is Cacrux (Gamma Crucis) at 88.6 light-years away.
The nearest class K red giant star is Arcturus at 36.7 light-years away.
Aldebaran is an example of a red giant that belongs to the red-giant branch.
Hamal is an example of a red giant that belongs to the red-clump giants.
Mira is an example of a red giant that belongs to the asymptotic giant branch.
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.
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.
Red giants that are known to have planets are HD 208527, HD 208527, Gamma Cephei, Iota Draconis and Pollux.
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.
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.
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Red Giant Pictures
A photo of Mira, a pulsating red gaint star.
Credit: Art Trevena / BCAS
A comparison of our sun to red giant stars.
Credit: University of Sydney
A photo of the red giant star P1 Gruis.
Credit: Georgia State University
Additional Resources with Red Giant Star Facts
Red Giant Star Facts and Information
- Discover more about red giant stars on the Space.com website.
Can Earth Survive its Sun Becoming a Red Giant
- Learn what will happen to our planet when the sun becomes a red giant in the far distance future.
The Inner Workings of Red Giant Stars
- Learn about the inner workings of red giant stars on the Sky and Telescope website.