NASA / AURORE SIMONNET / SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / AURORE SIMONNET / SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
IC 10 X-1 black hole and companion star. Artwork showing the IC 10 X-1 black hole (top left) and its companion Wolf-Rayet star surrounded by stellar gas and dust (blue, lower right). The gas and dust ejected from the Wolf-Rayet star (an active star type) is being pulled towards, and spiralling inwards to, the black hole. The mass of this black hole was calculated in October 2007 to be equivalent to 24 to 33 solar masses. This was the largest stellar black hole known at the time, and larger than what was previously thought to be the limit for black holes that form from massive stars. IC 10 X-1 and its companion star are in the dwarf galaxy IC 10, 1.8 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia.
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