To read more about these images visit the
Artist's impression of an X-ray binary system which could
produce variations characterized by random integer multiples of a single
Note: Click on the images to see an enlarged version
|| Top: A normal star and an X-ray star orbit about their common
center of mass. A spiral wave of denser material is present in the
accretion disk of hot gas spiraling into the X-ray star.
||Center: A quarter of an orbit later, the spiral wave lines up with
the maximum pull of gravity between the two stars.
||Bottom: If the resulting tidal forces on the disk
have a fixed probability of setting off a disruption, then the X-ray
radiation will fade at intervals whose lengths are a constant times some
random small integer.
Go back to the what's new news
If you have a question about RXTE, please send email to one of our