carbon-nitrogen cycle

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Related to CNO cycle: Triple alpha process

carbon-nitrogen cycle

[¦kär·bən ¦nī·trə·jən ‚sī·kəl]
(nuclear physics)
A series of thermonuclear reactions, with release of energy, which presumably occurs in stars that are more massive than the sun; the net accomplishment is the synthesis of four hydrogen atoms into a helium atom, the emission of two positrons and much energy, and restoration of a carbon-12 atom with which the cycle began. Also known as carbon cycle; nitrogen cycle.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Another crucial reaction is the CNO cycle, through which normal stars more massive than about 1 1/2 Suns produce most of their energy.
Because the hydrogen-burning CNO cycle produces nitrogen-14, this element is mixed with the helium ash.
One of those elements is nitrogen-14, which the star produces while burning hydrogen into helium via the CNO cycle. When the star ignites its helium core, some of the nitrogen-14 gets converted into fluorine-19 through the same nuclear reactions that occur in red giants.