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Cygnus X-1 black hole candidate

Cygnus X-1 black hole candidate

R680/0006

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Credit

DAVID A. HARDY, FUTURES: 50 YEARS IN SPACE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID A. HARDY, FUTURES: 50 YEARS IN SPACE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Black hole. Artwork of the Cygnus X-1 system, thought to contain a black hole. The system comprises a blue giant star (right) and a small dense object that accretes matter from the star. This object is a powerful emitter of X-rays, due to being heated to extremely high temperatures in the accretion disc. Its mass and X-ray emission both suggest it is a black hole, but no definitive answer has been found. 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.

Release details

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