|Cygnus X-1 Copyright David A. Hardy|
One of the first suspected examples of a black hole was Cygnus X-1. In 1972 a massive blue supergiant star in Cygnus was found to have an invisible companion which emitted X-rays. This was calculated to be 14 times as massive as the Sun – too massive to be a neutron star, so a black hole is the most likely explanation. Here it is seen pulling material away from its companion and becoming strongly heated; hence the X-rays. Excess gas is ejected in two very active jets above and below the disc. (Digital, from Futures.)
Today on Far Future Horizons we take a breathtaking journey into the future, five billion years from now, to see the ultimate fate of the Solar System and other violent and destructive events which shape our Universe.