Cygnus X-1 -- Black Hole in Cygnus
Feeding a Black Hole
Anything that enters a Black Hole (minus Hawking Radiation) is lost forever to our
universe. Not even light itself can force its way out of a Black Hole. Thus, attempting
a drawing of a Black Hole, might sound a bit crazy since they are invisible, but in this
case, I found it an interesting exercise in the impossible.
The Black Hole (Cygnus X-1) shares its orbit with a Super Blue Giant. HDE 226868
is a magnificent star that shines as bright as 400,000 suns. It is easily found in a
telescope near Eta Cygni. This huge star’s outer atmosphere is currently being pulled
into its hidden companion star. Long ago this companion star, as it ended its life,
collapsed into a Black hole. The infalling heated material emits X-rays as it
approaches the Black Hole. These X-rays were first detected from Earth in 1964. At
the time of their discovery their source was a mystery. Today we know beyond a
reasonable doubt that a Black Hole is to blame.
Ok, so this is not a drawing of a Black Hole, but just of its companion star that is
actively feeding it. Still it was worth the hunt for it triggers the imagination and fulfils
my quest to add to my understand of the night sky.