The Chandrasekhar limit limits the mass of bodies made from electron-degenerate matter, a dense form of matter which consists of atomic nuclei immersed in a gas of electrons. The limit is the maximum nonrotating mass of an object that can be supported against gravitational collapse by electron degeneracy pressure. It is named after the astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, and is commonly given as being about 1.4 solar masses. As white dwarfs are composed of electron-degenerate matter, no nonrotating white dwarf can be heavier than the Chandrasekhar limit.
From a Unification perspective, several points can be made:
- The Chandrasekhar limit is a concept that helps astronomers understand the behavior of certain celestial objects. Calculation of this concept requires superior mental faculties, which are connected to our spiritual dimension. These faculties reflect the higher intelligence of our Creator.
- Human efforts in the field of astronomy spring from our inner desire to understand the natural world, regardless of whether the knowledge gained helps us for our practical, survival needs. These efforts distinguish the human species from all others that we are aware of.
- The value of human beings does not stem from the size of our population or location and distribution in the universe. Rather, our value is related to the internal faculties and talents that are endowed by our Creator and that are manifested by our scientific (as well as other) pursuits.
- Through understanding distant celestial objects and phenomena, we work toward establishing harmony with the rest of the created world and stewardship (dominion) of true love over it. In Unification terminology, we work toward fulfilling God's "Third Great Blessing" to humanity.
- By sharpening our understanding of objects and phenomena in space, astronomy shows us that they are part of the larger picture of the universe and exist for the sake of the whole. Thus they provide us with an internal guiding principle: to live for the sake of others. When we live by this principle, we demonstrate God's nature in action, and we can create a world of harmony and peace, which is the desire of all people.