x-ray

x-ray

Rare X-ray outburst from a stellar-mass black hole

4d ago
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On June 15, NASA's Swift caught the onset of a rare X-ray outburst from a stellar-mass black hole in the binary system V404 Cygni. Astronomers around the world are watching the event. In this system, a stream of gas from a star much like the sun flows toward a 10 solar mass black hole. Instead of spiraling toward the black hole, the gas accumulates for decades in an accretion disk around it. Every couple of decades, the disk switches into a state that sends the gas rushing inward, starting a new outburst. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center