carbon ‘burning’ ‘Burning’ (see NUCLEOSYNTHESIS) that occurs in large stars, due to the intense heat of the stellar core, following hydrogen ‘burning’ and helium ‘burning’. During this stage of stellar evolution 12C nuclei undergo nuclear reactions at temperatures around 8 × 108 K to produce elements such as 20Ne, 23Na, 23Mg, and 24Mg. See OXYGEN ‘BURNING’; and SILICON ‘BURNING’.
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