In astrophysics, the thermal time scale or Kelvin-Helmholtz time scale is the approximate time it takes for a star to radiate away its total kinetic energy content at its current luminosity rate. Along with the nuclear and 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 thermal time scale because as one fuel becomes scarce, another will generally take its place--hydrogen burning gives way to helium burning, which is replaced by carbon burning.

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  • In astrophysics, the thermal time scale or Kelvin-Helmholtz time scale is the approximate time it takes for a star to radiate away its total kinetic energy content at its current luminosity rate. Along with the nuclear and 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 thermal time scale because as one fuel becomes scarce, another will generally take its place--hydrogen burning gives way to helium burning, which is replaced by carbon burning. (en)
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http://purl.org/linguistics/gold/hypernym
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  • In astrophysics, the thermal time scale or Kelvin-Helmholtz time scale is the approximate time it takes for a star to radiate away its total kinetic energy content at its current luminosity rate. Along with the nuclear and 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 thermal time scale because as one fuel becomes scarce, another will generally take its place--hydrogen burning gives way to helium burning, which is replaced by carbon burning. (en)
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  • Thermal time scale (en)
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