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Chandrasekhar was one of ten children in his family, and lived most of his childhood in the capital city of Madras. After graduating college, he traveled to England and spent much of his time working out the mechanics of white dwarf stars. He is well known for coming up with the “Chandrasekhar limit” which gives the maximum mass of a white dwarf star, as well as the minimum mass that is required for a white dwarf star to collapse into a black hole.
Many people credit Chandrasekhar’s mother, Sita Balakrishnan, who was devoted to intellectual pursuits, for inspiring Chandra’s curiosity at a young age. In 1979, NASA named one of its four “Great Observatories” after him, to celebrate his research and legacy.
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