How long do stars last?


Quick Answer

The life cycle of a star is related to its mass. A star the size of the sun has a life cycle of approximately 10 billion years. A star 10 times the size of the sun, however, burns fuel faster and can have a main phase of millions of years.

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Full Answer

All stars follow the same pattern of formation from a gas cloud, to burning fuel in the main sequence, and then expansion to a red giant. After the red giant phase, smaller stars cool and become white or black dwarf stars. Stars of larger masses may collapse during a one-million-year period, ending with a supernova explosion that lasts fractions of a second. The result is a neutron star or a black hole.

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