helium shell burning
suzeš-e puste-ye heliom
Fr.: combustion de la coquille d'hélium
A stage in the evolution of an → asymptotic giant branch star, when all the helium in the core is fused into carbon and oxygen. No more fusion takes place in the core, and as a result the core contracts. The core contraction generates a sufficient temperature for fusing the surrounding layers of helium. Since helium shell burning is unstable, it causes → helium shell flashes.