CHRISTIAN KOCH, MICROCHEMICALS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRISTIAN KOCH, MICROCHEMICALS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
X-ray binary star system, artwork. Material is being gravitationally drawn from a red giant star (bottom) by a black hole (upper right). The material has formed an accretion disc around the black hole. Extreme rotation speeds in the disc generate temperatures high enough for the emission of X-rays. Two polar radiation jets are seen emerging from the area around the black hole. A black hole is an object that forms when a massive star exhausts its fuel. Its core collapses under gravity to a diameter of a few kilometres.
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