Chandrasekhar limit facts for kids
The Chandrasekhar limit is the maximum mass of a stable white dwarf star. Building on work by others, the Indian physicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar worked on the calculation. He published series of papers between 1931 and 1935. The Chandrasekhar limit is about 1.4 times the mass of the Sun.
The Chandrasekhar limit is the mass above which electron degeneracy pressure in the star's core is not enough to balance the star's own gravitational self-attraction. Then, white dwarfs with masses over the limit would gravitationally collapse into a neutron star or black hole. However, white dwarfs usually explode before they undergo collapse. Those with masses under the limit remain stable as white dwarfs.
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