In this wikipedia article, it describes planetary nebula as "short-lived," but I'm not sure in relation to what? This could mean billions of years in some contexts.

How long is short-lived?

Bonus if there are any useful rules of thumb in astronomy terms for future uses (how stars timelines are described, versus galaxies, etc.)


1 Answer 1


In the case of planetary nebulae we are talking of ~10,000 years (follow the link to the main article on Planetary Nebulae).

In general a short lifetime for a phenomena means a time short compared to the total life of the entity it is related to. It is an informal term and does not have a fixed maximum value, but 10,000 years is a short time on most astronomical scales.


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