X-ray Binary

animation of an x-ray binary

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 star or 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.


Web page maintained by

paint pot icon Pat Tyler

tyler@universe.gsfc.nasa.gov


HEASARC Home | Observatories | Archive | Calibration | Software | Tools | Students/Teachers/Public

Last modified: Monday, 17-Sep-2018 19:29:05 EDT

The HEASARC is hiring! - Applications are now being accepted for a scientist with significant experience and interest in the technical aspects of astrophysics research, to work in the HEASARC at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. Refer to the AAS Job register for full details.