Chandrasekhar limit


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Related to Chandrasekhar limit: Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Chandrasekhar limit

(chan-dră-see -ker, chun-dră-say -kar) (Chandrasekhar mass) The limiting mass for a nonrotating white dwarf. It depends slightly on the star's composition, being 1.44 solar masses for a helium white dwarf, dropping to 1.40 solar masses for a carbon composition and 1.11 solar masses for an iron composition. The limit is raised substantially if the white dwarf has a rapidly rotating core. A star whose mass exceeds this limit will be forced to undergo further gravitational collapse to become a neutron star or even a black hole, because its material will be unable to support itself against the force of gravity.

Chandrasekhar limit

[‚chən·drə′shā‚kär ‚lim·ət]
(astrophysics)
A limiting mass of about 1.44 solar masses above which a white dwarf cannot exist in a stable configuration.
References in periodicals archive ?
3 Varying Chandrasekhar limit as the postulated main route to SNe Ia
VCM postulates that the currently known value of Chandrasekhar limit refers solely to the present epoch while in general:
An asteroid falling into a white dwarf might provide enough mass to push a star over the Chandrasekhar limit.
If the Chandrasekhar limit is a law of nature, all Type la super-novae should be almost exactly alike.
This theory usually also assumes the Chandrasekhar limit must be breached to trigger dwarf death.
Astronomers can think of many ways to add mass to a white dwarf in a binary system and push it toward the Chandrasekhar limit.
Since 2003, four supernovae have been discovered that were so bright, cosmologists wondered whether their white dwarfs had surpassed the Chandrasekhar limit.
4 solar masses--the famous Chandrasekhar limit beyond which the star cannot resist the pull of its own gravity--runaway thermonuclear reactions blow it apart.
Until now, no white dwarf has ever been observed above the Chandrasekhar limit.
These stellar outbursts are thought to occur when a white dwarf accretes so much material from a binary companion that it reaches the so-called Chandrasekhar limit of 1.
Astronomers think that the majority of these explosions, which make a nova seem like a firecracker next to an atomic bomb, are detonated when a white dwarf accretes enough mass to push it over the Chandrasekhar limit.
This stellar boundary is known as the Chandrasekhar limit.