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Cygnus X-1 black hole, illustration

Cygnus X-1 black hole, illustration

C038/9800

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Credit

NASA / CXC / M.WEISS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / CXC / M.WEISS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Cygnus X-1 black hole, illustration. Cygnus X-1 is located near large active regions of star formation in the Milky Way. This illustration depicts what astronomers think is happening within the Cygnus X-1 system. Cygnus X-1 is a so-called stellar-mass black hole, a class of black holes that comes from the collapse of a massive star. The black hole (left) pulls material from a massive, blue companion star (right) toward it. This material forms a disk (red and orange) that rotates around the black hole before falling into it or being redirected away from the black hole in the form of powerful jets. Cygnus X-1 is around 6000 light years from Earth, in the constellation of Cygnus. Image published in 2011.

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