X-ray binaries are a special class of binary star system named for the x-rays they emit which have been detected by Earth and space-based telescopes specifically designed and engineered for this purpose. Believed to be composed of a normal star, much like our own Sun, and a collapsed star – white dwarf, neutron star, or black hole – near or at the end of its life cycle, X-ray binaries are often thought of as “zombie stars” feeding off the lifeblood of nearby companion stars.
Watch this animation of an X-ray binary system, showing material flowing from a companion star to the X-ray emitting accretion disk around a compact stellar object. You’ll need to make sure you have the right software and drivers to view this amazing video.
Read and learn more about binary stars here.
Learn more about superstar binaries like Eta Carinae.
Discover more about binary stars here.
Read and learn more specifics about X-ray binaries.
Take the space journey of NASA across the cosmos here.