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helium flash

noun
  1. astronomy the explosive burning of helium in the case of a star of low mass that occurs when the core is so dense that the matter has become degenerate. The burning causes a rapid rise in temperature until it is so high that the gas ceases to be degenerate, after which there is a rapid expansion
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012