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X-ray binary star SS433

X-ray binary star SS433

F001/2794

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Credit

MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

X-ray binary star system SS433. Artwork of the binary star system SS433, a strong X-ray source. This system comprises a neutron star (upper right) in mutual orbit with a normal star (lower left). The neutron star is extremely dense and its gravity draws gas from its companion. This forms an accretion disc (blue/purple) around the neutron star that emits X-rays as it is heated near the star. Two high-speed jets (blue) are emitted from the poles of the neutron star. The jets and disc wobble with a 164-day cycle. The neutron star is thought to be the remnant of a star which exploded around 40,000 years ago, forming the supernova remnant W50, in which this system is located.

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