Fr.: bande de l'instabilité
A narrow, almost vertical, band on the right hand side of the → main sequence in the → H-R diagram occupied by many different types of → pulsating stars (→ RR Lyrae, → Cepheids, → W Virginis, → ZZ Ceti). Stars traverse this region at least once after they leave the main sequence. The narrow temperature range of the instability strip corresponds to the stellar → effective temperature that can sustain → partial ionization zones, capable of maintaining stellar oscillations. The blue (hot) edge of the instability strip pertains to stars with surface temperatures hotter than ~ 7500 K. Because these stars have partial ionization zones too close to their surface, the pulsation mechanism is not active. The red (cooler) edge of the instability strip is determined by stars with a temperature lower than ~ 5500 K. In these stars convection prevents the build-up of heat pressure necessary to drive pulsations.
→ instability; → strip.