In astrophysics, the nuclear timescale is an estimate of the lifetime of a star based solely on its rate of fuel consumption. Along with the thermal and free-fall (aka dynamical) time scales, it is used to estimate the length of time a particular star will remain in a certain phase of its life and its lifespan if hypothetical conditions are met. In reality, the lifespan of a star is greater than what is estimated by the nuclear time scale because as one fuel becomes scarce, another will generally take its place—hydrogen burning gives way to helium burning, etc. However, all the phases after hydrogen burning combined typically add up to less than 10% of the duration of hydrogen burning.

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  • In astrophysics, the nuclear timescale is an estimate of the lifetime of a star based solely on its rate of fuel consumption. Along with the thermal and free-fall (aka dynamical) time scales, it is used to estimate the length of time a particular star will remain in a certain phase of its life and its lifespan if hypothetical conditions are met. In reality, the lifespan of a star is greater than what is estimated by the nuclear time scale because as one fuel becomes scarce, another will generally take its place—hydrogen burning gives way to helium burning, etc. However, all the phases after hydrogen burning combined typically add up to less than 10% of the duration of hydrogen burning. (en)
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  • In astrophysics, the nuclear timescale is an estimate of the lifetime of a star based solely on its rate of fuel consumption. Along with the thermal and free-fall (aka dynamical) time scales, it is used to estimate the length of time a particular star will remain in a certain phase of its life and its lifespan if hypothetical conditions are met. In reality, the lifespan of a star is greater than what is estimated by the nuclear time scale because as one fuel becomes scarce, another will generally take its place—hydrogen burning gives way to helium burning, etc. However, all the phases after hydrogen burning combined typically add up to less than 10% of the duration of hydrogen burning. (en)
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  • Nuclear timescale (en)
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