New Look at First Confirmed Black Hole

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Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Video imagery:

Simulated black hole and its accretion disk: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Jeremy Schnittman
Illustration of the Cygnus X-1 system: John Paice.

Writer: Leah Ramsay
Designer: Leah Hustak, Joseph Olmsted
Science review: Dr. Kelly Lepo, Dr. Chris Britt
Education review: Jim Manning
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Over photos of celestial bodies, a line sweeps down and to the right.
Text: News from the Universe. November 14, 2022, Animation. New look at first confirmed black hole. The region immediately surrounding a black hole is one of the most extreme physical environments known. In an animation, red rings surround a black hole.
NASA's I.X.P.E. mission is leading the new X-ray research into understanding black holes and how spacetime is curved around them. In the animation, spacetime curves around the black hole.
I.X.P.E. observations of Cygnus X-1, the first cosmic object ever identified as containing a black hole, reveal the orientation of its corona, or ring of hot plasma. In an illustration, Cygnus X-1 contains a black hole.
Text: The observations match models predicting that the corona either sandwiches the disk of matter spiraling toward the black hole or replaces the inner portion of that disk.
I.X.P.E. data rule out models in which the corona is a narrow plasma column or cone along the jet axis.
This news was brought to you in part by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.