Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

September 1, 1995

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar 1910-1995
Credit: University of Chicago Press, S. Chandrasekhar
Copyright: 1989 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Explanation: On August 21, 1995 one of the greatest astrophysicists of modern times passed away. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was a creative, prolific genius whose ability to combine mathematical precision with physical insight changed humanity's view of stellar physics. His most famous discovery was that not all stars end up as white dwarf stars, but those retaining mass above a certain limit - today known as "Chandrasekhar's limit," undergo further collapse. His detailed mathematical papers and books on a wide variety of astrophysical subjects, including, for example, black holes, are classic references for research at every level. Obituaries are available from the University of Chicago Press and Reuters News Service, and a WWW page has been set-up to record personal memories.

Tomorrow's picture: Hot Gas and Dark Matter

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.