Chandrasekhar limit(redirected from Chandrashekhar limit)
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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]
A limiting mass of about 1.44 solar masses above which a white dwarf cannot exist in a stable configuration.