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Space Theory Comes To Life

SD Astronomer Helps Probe Universe To Quantify Black Hole

Cygnus X-1 is a black hole about 15 times the mass of the Sun in orbit with a...

Credit: NASA

Above: Cygnus X-1 is a black hole about 15 times the mass of the Sun in orbit with a massive blue companion star. Astronomers used several telescopes to study Cygnus X-1. The combined data have revealed the spin, mass, and distance of this black hole more precisely than ever before.

Guest

Dr. Jerry Orosz, Associate Professor of Astronomy, San Diego State University

Take a tour of Cygnus X-1

Transcript

Cygnus X-1 is described by some astronomers as the iconic black hole. In theory, it displays the quintessential characteristics of what a black hole is supposed to be. The only problem is until very recently, some scientists were not convinced that Cygnus X-1 really contained a black hole. Now, due in part to the work of SDSU astronomy department the evidence seems overwhelming.

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