Neon burning process


Neon burning process

The neon burning process is a set of nuclear fusion reactions that take place in massive stars (at least 8 MSun). Neon burning requires high temperatures and densities (around 1.2×109 K and 4×109 kg/m3).

At such high temperatures photodisintegration becomes a significant effect, so some neon nuclei decompose, releasing alpha particles:

:

Where the neutron consumed in the first step is regenerated in the second.

Neon burning takes place after carbon burning has consumed all carbon in the core and built up a new oxygen/neon/magnesium core. The core cools down, and gravitational pressure compresses it, increasing density and temperature up to the ignition point of neon burning.

During neon burning, oxygen and magnesium accumulate in the central core while neon is consumed. After a few years the star consumes all its neon and the core cools down again. Again, gravitational pressure takes over and compress the central core, increasing its density and temperature until the oxygen burning process can start.


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