DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Binary star system. Artwork showing a binary star system formed by a red star (centre left) and a black hole (centre right). Black holes are compact and massive objects which are characterised by a strong gravitational field so that not even light is able to escape from them. Material from the outer layers of the red star is pulled away forming a disc of gas, also known as an accretion disc, spiralling towards the black hole. The temperature of the gas in the disc increases due to friction and dissipating processes causing the disc to become a powerful source of X-ray radiation.
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