The brightest X-ray sources in our galaxy are X-ray binaries. These X-ray
binaries are two stars which rotate around each other. One of the
two is a normal star; but the other is a collapsed star, such as a neutron
a black hole, which has about the same mass as our Sun but has shrunk to
ten kilometers or less in radius. Material is drawn from the normal star
and spirals in via an accretion disk onto the compact star. Intense X-ray
emission is released from the inner region of the accretion disk where it
falls onto the collapsed star.
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Last modified: Thursday, 26-Jun-2003 13:48:43 EDT