I know that M (red dwarf) main-sequence stars slowly fade to white dwarf stars, and that G (yellow dwarf) main-sequence stars become red giants and then shed their outer layers in a planetary nebula leaving behind a white dwarf, but do K (orange dwarf) main stars take a similar route to red dwarfs? Or do they expand into red giants like yellow dwarfs?

What about F (yellow-white) main-sequence stars? Do they turn into supergiants and go supernova? Or do they take a similar route to yellow dwarfs? And what about A (white) and B (blue-white) main-sequence stars?


1 Answer 1


K-type dwarfs behave like a solar mass star, and will leave behind a (slightly) lower mass white dwarf.

F-type dwarfs will behave like a solar mass star and leave behind a (slightly) higher mass white dwarf.

Higher mass (hotter) stars will produce higher mass white dwarfs, up until the initial main sequence star is of about $8M_{\odot}$ (a spectral type of about B3). The corresponding remnant white dwarf mass increase up to about $1.2 M_{\odot}$. All these stars go through a giant phase, He core burning and asymptotic giant branch phases.

Above this then carbon burning will be initiated in the core and it is likely that burning will continue through to iron, followed by core-collapse and a supernova.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. Do K-type dwarfs and F-type dwarfs produce red giants with a noticeable difference to ones produced by yellow dwarfs, or do they have little differences in size/color? $\endgroup$
    – ut793
    Apr 1, 2020 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ @ut793 All the K-dwarfs ever born are still K-dwarfs! In theory they would be quite similar. Red giants lie close to the location of the Hayashi track. $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Apr 1, 2020 at 19:05

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