New Zealand Science

NASA’s video shows dance between black holes and their feeding stars


A new NASA animation shows some of our Milky Way galaxy’s closest black holes, as well as the stars that feed them, and 22 X-ray binaries in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud.

According to a NASA statement accompanying the film, each pair depicts a black hole at the center of an orange-red accretion disc, the star is portrayed as a blueish- or yellowish-white sphere that scales to match its size.

Also, READ: Astronomers share first look of Milky Way’s ‘Doughnut-shaped’ Black Hole, know more


A black hole is a spot in space where gravity is so strong that light cannot escape. When a star goes supernova, it spews massive quantities of materials into space before folding in or collapsing on itself, resulting in the formation of black holes. There are two methods in which an X-ray binary’s black hole might get energy from its star.

Scientists are unable to directly examine black holes using telescopes because they do not produce light. As a result, stuff that falls into a black hole begins to heat up and glow in the X-ray spectrum. This visualization is based on X-rays taken from a patient.

Despite the fact that this image shows a wide range of black holes, these objects seem far bigger than they really are in relation to their partner stars and accretion disc.

Viewing angles in the picture represent how the systems may be seen from Earth, whereas the orbital speed depicted is 22,000 times faster than observed.

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