sciencehabit writes "Cygnus X-1 bears its name because it was the first source of x-rays found in the constellation Cygnus. In 1971, astronomers discovered that the x-rays came from the direction of a bright blue star whirling around a mysterious dark object. They speculated that the x-rays were resulting from material being torn away from the bright star and falling onto the dark object, perhaps a black hole. This year, astronomers established that Cygnus X-1 does indeed harbor a black hole, a dead star whose great gravity lets nothing, not even light, escape. Now that result has inspired a forecast for the system's future: The black hole will swallow even more mass from an unfortunate star circling it, then likely dash away on its own when its companion explodes."
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