I have a question regarding the above mentioned. When a star have a mass of about 3-8 it does not go through the so-called helium flash phase, but instead just run along as nothing had happened, turn on helium fusion, and in the end, end up becoming a white dwarf.
Lower mass stars though, do get into the helium flash phase, and this is because of electron degeneracy, if I'm not mistaken? But I'm not sure I understand electron degeneracy all that well.
If the star has mass enough, the gravitational potential will be enough to increase the temperature for helium fusion to start. But if not, it will not get hot enough, at least for a while. So in order for helium fusion to begin, it needs to be hot enough, but for a lower mass star, the gravitational potential is not large enough, so in order to reach this temperature, it would need to compress even more. So before that happens, degeneracy takes over?
So what makes it come out of degeneracy? If it cannot compress anymore, due to the degeneracy, how do the core temperature increase in order for helium fusion to happen, and from that make the helium flash? Is it just a steady increase from the still ongoing hydrogen shell burning that makes this happen, or...?