radiative equilibrium

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The state attained by a gas in which the rate of energy generation (such as by nuclear reactions in stars) is exactly balanced by the rate at which energy is transported outwards by radiation. For this to occur, convection must be insignificant. Radiative equilibrium is achieved in the outer regions of massive stars and the cores of low-mass stars. See also convective equilibrium.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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