DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Artist's impression of the double star system SS433, a black hole candidate. The artwork shows a star (top) whose outer gases are falling onto a more compact companion star (a neutron star or black hole) in a spiralling accretion disc. The whirling disc's hot gases are a source of x-ray emissions, and its magnetic field a source of radio waves. Another unusual feature of SS 433 are the two jets of gas that are boiled off from opposite sides of the accretion disc at velocities just over a quarter of the speed of light. The precession of the accretion disc (a wobbling motion) causes the jets to swing around in a period of 5 1/2 months.
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