Chandrasekhar limit

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The Chandrasekhar limit is the maximum mass of a white dwarf, and is around 1.4 solar masses.

The heat generated by a star pushes the atmosphere of the star out. As the star runs out of fuel the atmosphere collapses back on the star's core. If the star has a mass below the Chandrasekhar limit this collapse is limited by electron degeneracy pressure, which results in a stable white dwarf. If the star has a mass above the Chandrasekhar limit it has sufficient gravity to collapse past the white dwarf stage and become a neutron star or black hole

The limit was calculated by the Indian physicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.