X-ray binary Cygnus X-1, artwork

X-ray binary Cygnus X-1, artwork

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Credit: MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: X-ray binary Cygnus X-1. Computer artwork of the high-mass X-ray binary called Cygnus X-1. It consists of a blue supergiant star (right) called HDE 226868, orbiting what is probably a black hole. The black hole is sucking gas from the blue star's atmosphere, leading to the formation of an accretion disc around the black hole (lower left). A black hole is a region of space in which the gravitational field is so strong that even light cannot escape. They are thought to form in supernovae, the explosive deaths of massive stars. Cygnus X-1 is around 82,000 light years away, in the constellation of Cygnus.

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Keywords: accreting, accretion disc, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, astrophysical, astrophysics, binary star, black hole, blue supergiant, close-up, collapsed star, condensed matter, cygnus, cygnus x-1, dense matter, detail, giant, gravitation, gravitational, gravity, hde 226868, high energy, illustration, massive, singularity, space, star, stars, stellar atmopshere, stellar evolution, supergiant star, system, universe, x-ray binary, x-ray source, xray

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