- the mass limit above which a star has too much mass to become a white dwarf after gravitational collapse, approximately 1.44 solar masses.
Origin of Chandrasekhar limit
1975–80; after U.S. astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (born 1910), who formulated it
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- astronomy the upper limit to the mass of a white dwarf, equal to 1.44 solar masses. A star having a mass above this limit will continue to collapse to form a neutron star
Word Origin for Chandrasekhar limit
C20: named after S. Chandrasekhar, who calculated it
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
- The maximum size of a stable white dwarf, approximately 3 X 1030 kg (about 1.4 times the mass of the Sun). Stars with mass higher than the Chandrasekhar limit ultimately collapse under their own weight and become neutron stars or black holes. Stars with a mass below this limit are prevented from collapsing by the degeneracy pressure of their electrons. See more at degeneracy pressure.
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