MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Artist's impression of a microquasar x-ray binary. These binary star systems comprise a compact star (black hole or neutron star) which is in orbit about a larger companion (in this case, a blue giant, left). The compact star distorts the larger companion and pulls gas from its atmosphere. The gas swirls around the compact object forming an accretion disc. Particle jets are emitted from the centre of this disc, making the systems superficially similar to the much larger and totally different quasars.
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