Black hole GX 339-4, artwork

Black hole GX 339-4, artwork

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Caption: Black hole GX 339-4, artwork. This black hole is located around 20,000 light years from Earth, in the constellation of Ara. It has a mass more than six times that of the Sun, and is surrounded by an accretion disk (red) of material being pulled from a neighbouring star (yellow orb). Some of this material is ejected as jets (above and below the disk). Previous studies had been done in X-ray, gamma and radio, but the region close to the black hole glows brightly in infrared light. Observations made over the course of a year by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) showed large fluctuations in this area. Artwork published in 2011.

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Keywords: 2011, 21st century, accretion disc, ara, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, astrophysical, astrophysics, black hole, flares, flaring, fluctuating, fluctuation, gx 339-4, high energy, illustration, infrared, ir, jet, jets, lmxb, low-mass x-ray binary, space, star, universe, variable, wide-field infrared survey explorer, wise, x-ray binary, xray

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