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S. Chandrasekhar

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S. Chandrasekhar

Nobel laureate and astrophysicist

S. Chandrasekhar, or ‘Chandra’ as he was known to his colleagues, was an Indian American astrophysicist famous for his work on the structure and evolution of stars. He received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983, jointly with William A. Fowler. He was also the nephew of Prof. C. V. Raman who also won the Nobel Prize in 1930. 

Chandra is well-known for his calculation of ‘Chandrasekhar limit’, a theoretical limit on the mass of the white dwarf stars, which is ~ 1.44 solar masses. In other words, it is the minimum mass that must be exceeded for a star to ultimately collapse into a neutron star or a black hole, following a supernova. This number was calculated by Chandrasekhar in 1930 on his maiden journey from India to England for his studies, based on the education he had received in India. 

In 1979, NASA named the third of its four “Great Observatories” after Chandrasekhar. The Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on 23 July 1999. The asteroid 1958 Chandra is also named after Chandrasekhar. 

Science is a perception of the world around us. Science is a place where what you find in nature pleases you.

Popularly known for ‘Chandrasekhar limit’ & The asteroid 1958 Chandra is named after Chandrasekhar