qul-e sorx (#), qulpeykar-e ~ (#)
Fr.: géante rouge
A certain star of spectral type K or later that occupies the upper right portion of the → H-R diagram. Red giants are evolved stars that have exhausted their hydrogen fuel in the core. They may have a → luminosity up to 1000 times greater than → main sequence stars of the same → spectral type. Red giants belong to the → luminosity class III or II (bright giants). They are luminous because of their great size, but have a relatively low surface temperature. All normal stars are expected to pass eventually through a red-giant phase as a consequence of stellar evolution. When a main sequence star has converted approximately 10% of its hydrogen to helium, nuclear reactions in the core stop (→ Schönberg-Chandrasekhar limit). The → hydrostatic equilibrium is no longer maintained, and the core contracts while the outer layers expand and cool. This process produces the low surface temperature and large size (from 10 to 100 times that of the Sun) that characterize the red giant. In the core the temperature continues to rise. When it approaches 100,000,000 K helium will begin to fuse into carbon. → helium flash. Prominent bright red giants in the night sky include → Aldebaran and → Arcturus.
red giant branch (RGB)
šâxe-ye qulân-e sorx
Fr.: branche des géantes rouges
tip of the red giant branch method
raveš-e nok-e šâxe-ye qulhâ-ye sorx
Fr.: méthode du haut de la branche des géantes
A technique for deriving extragalactic distances which uses the → luminosity of the brightest → red giant branch stars in old → stellar populations as a "standard candle." For old (> 2-3 Gyr), metal-poor ([Fe/H] < -0.7) stellar populations, this luminosity is relatively well determined, and the → absolute magnitude of these stars in the I band is roughly constant (MI = -4.1 ± 0.1).