APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

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APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby APOD Robot » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:09 am

Image The Tulip and Cygnus X-1

Explanation: Framing a bright emission region, this telescopic view looks out along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the nebula rich constellation Cygnus the Swan. Popularly called the Tulip Nebula, the reddish glowing cloud of interstellar gas and dust is also found in the 1959 catalog by astronomer Stewart Sharpless as Sh2-101. About 8,000 light-years distant and 70 light-years across the complex and beautiful nebula blossoms at the center of this composite image. Ultraviolet radiation from young energetic stars at the edge of the Cygnus OB3 association, including O star HDE 227018, ionizes the atoms and powers the emission from the Tulip Nebula. HDE 227018 is the bright star near the center of the nebula. Also framed in the field of view is microquasar Cygnus X-1, one of the strongest X-ray sources in planet Earth's sky. Driven by powerful jets from a black hole accretion disk, its fainter visible curved shock front lies above and right, just beyond the cosmic Tulip's petals

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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby Ann » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:50 am

What a nice picture! :D And Ivan Eder is one of my favorite astrophotographers.

I had never seen the shock front of Cygnus X-1 before. How fascinating!

Ann
Last edited by Ann on Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby carlos_uriarte » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:06 am

Great picture! famous and I special like with colors. I'ts amazing. My congratulations!

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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby neufer » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:29 pm

Ann wrote:
I had never seen the shock front of Cygnus X-1 before. How fascinating!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cygnus_X-1 wrote:
<<Cygnus X-1 (abbreviated Cyg X-1) is a galactic X-ray source in the constellation Cygnus, and the first such source widely accepted to be a black hole. It was discovered in 1964 during a rocket flight and is one of the strongest X-ray sources seen from Earth, producing a peak X-ray flux density of 2.3×10−23 Wm−2 Hz−1 (2.3×103 Jansky). The compact object is now estimated to have a mass about 14.8 times the mass of the Sun and has been shown to be too small to be any known kind of normal star, or other likely object besides a black hole. If so, the radius of its event horizon is about 44 km.

Cygnus X-1 belongs to a high-mass X-ray binary system, located about 6070 light years from the Sun, that includes a blue supergiant variable star designated HDE 226868 which it orbits at about 0.2 AU, or 20% of the distance from the Earth to the Sun. A stellar wind from the star provides material for an accretion disk around the X-ray source. Matter in the inner disk is heated to millions of degrees, generating the observed X-rays. A pair of jets, arranged perpendicular to the disk, are carrying part of the energy of the infalling material away into interstellar space.

The Cygnus X-1 jets are inefficient radiators and so release only a small proportion of their energy in the electromagnetic spectrum. That is, they appear "dark". The estimated angle of the jets to the line of sight is 30° and they may be precessing. One of the jets is colliding with a relatively dense part of the interstellar medium (ISM), forming an energized ring that can be detected by its radio emission. This collision appears to be forming a nebula that has been observed in the optical wavelengths. To produce this nebula, the jet must have an estimated average power of (9±5)×1029 W. This is more than 1,000 times the power emitted by the Sun. There is no corresponding ring in the opposite direction because that jet is facing a lower density region of the ISM.>>
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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby E Fish » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:34 pm

I didn't know that Cygnus X-1 was called a microquasar. I thought it was just a black hole. Is that a new designation?

I've never seen that shock wave, either. It's amazing.

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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby NGC3314 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:42 pm

E Fish wrote:I didn't know that Cygnus X-1 was called a microquasar. I thought it was just a black hole. Is that a new designation?


Microquasars are black holes or neutron stars which are remnants of stellar collapse, which are accreting and producing relativistic jets (hence the analogy to quasars). The first one found, in hindsight, was SS 433, whose jets at about 0.26c have large and cyclically changing Doppler shifts as they precess under the influence of a companion. (These are the only such high-velocity jets known to show emission lines, to the chagrin of people studying AGN or other microquasars).

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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby rstevenson » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:47 pm


In the artist's illustration above, there is a small white point of light where the material from the blue giant blends into the orange stream orbiting the black hole. Since this is an illustration, it seems rather unlikely that the white spot is a background star. But what could it represent? Does the stellar material reach a density sufficient to make it glow before it is torn apart again by the black hole?

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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby De58te » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:55 pm

E Fish wrote:I didn't know that Cygnus X-1 was called a microquasar. I thought it was just a black hole. Is that a new designation?

Cygnus X-1 is a stellar-mass black hole, as the linked site says.
A microquasar is when there is a companion star and material is pulled into the accretion disc at temperatures in millions of degrees that they produce X-rays. The microquasar is this X-ray emitting accretion disc that is surrounding the black hole, not the black hole proper.

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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby Chris Peterson » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:00 pm

De58te wrote:
E Fish wrote:I didn't know that Cygnus X-1 was called a microquasar. I thought it was just a black hole. Is that a new designation?

Cygnus X-1 is a stellar-mass black hole, as the linked site says.
A microquasar is when there is a companion star and material is pulled into the accretion disc at temperatures in millions of degrees that they produce X-rays. The microquasar is this X-ray emitting accretion disc that is surrounding the black hole, not the black hole proper.

I would say that the microquasar is neither the black hole itself, nor the accretion disc, but rather, the entire system. To be quasar-like you need all the pieces.
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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby Ann » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:14 pm

rstevenson wrote:

In the artist's illustration above, there is a small white point of light where the material from the blue giant blends into the orange stream orbiting the black hole. Since this is an illustration, it seems rather unlikely that the white spot is a background star. But what could it represent? Does the stellar material reach a density sufficient to make it glow before it is torn apart again by the black hole?

Rob


I'm just guessing, mind you. Could that perhaps be the spot where gas flowing from the blue giant companion hits the swirling accretion disk, so that a lot of energy is produced in that small spot?

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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby rstevenson » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:03 pm

I suppose that must be it, Ann. Seems odd that it's not mentioned in the description of the illustration.

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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby neufer » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:13 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W50_(nebula) wrote:


<<W50 or SNR G039.7-02.0, once referred to as the Manatee Nebula, is a Supernova remnant located in the constellation Aquila, about 18,000 light years away. In its centre lies the micro-quasar SS433, whose jets are distorting the remnant's shell. Most likely W50 and SS 433 are related objects, remnants from a supernova which occurred about 20,000 years ago.>>
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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby Boomer12k » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:14 pm

Great image, and explanation...

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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby MarkBour » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:29 pm

Ann wrote:
rstevenson wrote: In the artist's illustration above, there is a small white point of light where the material from the blue giant blends into the orange stream orbiting the black hole. Since this is an illustration, it seems rather unlikely that the white spot is a background star. But what could it represent? Does the stellar material reach a density sufficient to make it glow before it is torn apart again by the black hole?

Rob


I'm just guessing, mind you. Could that perhaps be the spot where gas flowing from the blue giant companion hits the swirling accretion disk, so that a lot of energy is produced in that small spot?

Ann


[I'm not trying to create a dispute about the reference to this system (Cygnus X-1), but the article on the Chandra site that I think Art (neufer) got the 2-part illustration from, has as its right panel, an illustration that was actually an earlier APOD: 20 Nov 2013 https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131120.html, where it was labelled that the artist's impression is for the system 4U1630-47, which was investigated by CSIRO and ESA. (It seems that the standard protocol to refer to that discussion is to make a "viewtopic" link, though I have not figured out how those links are supposed to work.)]

At any rate, in that discussion the same question about the bright white spot was asked and BDanielMayField gave an answer just like Ann's.
A similar feature is shown on the image for the cover of Black-Hole Accretion Disks Fukue, Kato, Mineshige, Kyoto University Press (c) 2008.
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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby starsurfer » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:39 am

Ann wrote:What a nice picture! :D And Ivan Eder is one of my favorite astrophotographers.

I had never seen the shock front of Cygnus X-1 before. How fascinating!

Ann

Don Goldman imaged the Cygnus X-1 black hole jet powered bowshock nebula a few years ago, see here.

Also another image has been on APOD.

E Fish

Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby E Fish » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:04 pm

Thanks for answering my question, guys! I clearly need to get back into reading astronomy stuff again.

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Z-pinch fusion of hydrogen?

Postby neufer » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:43 pm

MarkBour wrote:
Ann wrote:
rstevenson wrote:
In the artist's illustration above, there is a small white point of light where the material from the blue giant blends into the orange stream orbiting the black hole. [What] could it represent? Does the stellar material reach a density sufficient to make it glow before it is torn apart again by the black hole?

Could that perhaps be the spot where gas flowing from the blue giant companion hits the swirling accretion disk, so that a lot of energy is produced in that small spot?

[I'm not trying to create a dispute about the reference to this system (Cygnus X-1), but the article on the Chandra site that I think Art (neufer) got the 2-part illustration from, has as its right panel, an illustration that was actually an earlier APOD: 20 Nov 2013 https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131120.html, where it was labelled that the artist's impression is for the system 4U1630-47, which was investigated by CSIRO and ESA.] [In] that discussion the same question about the bright white spot was asked and BDanielMayField gave an answer just like Ann's.
BDanielMayfield wrote:
That bright spot would be the place where gas falling from the companion star hits the rapidly rotating outer edge of the accretion disk. Friction from this collision is what would cause this point to be white hot. The rotation rate gets faster and faster of course as the gas/plasma in the accretion disk spirals toward the black hole. Friction between particles heats this material again as it migrates toward the inner edge of the disk.

I don't believe that the gas falling from the companion star actually ever "hits" the rapidly rotating outer edge of the accretion disk.

Rather... the gas stream probably smoothly converges into a tight non-intersecting spiral
(with each spiral band moving at approximately the same velocity as its neighboring bands in any event).

I think someone took a close look at the strong confluence taking place at the entry point of the accretion disk spiral and determined that that would be the ideal spot for Z-pinch fusion of hydrogen to occur:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinch_(plasma_physics) wrote:
<<A pinch is the compression of an electrically conducting filament by magnetic forces. The conductor is usually a plasma, but could also be a solid or liquid metal. Pinches were the first device used by humankind for controlled nuclear fusion. The phenomenon may also be referred to as a Bennett pinch (after Willard Harrison Bennett), electromagnetic pinch, magnetic pinch, pinch effect or plasma pinch. Pinches occur naturally in electrical discharges such as lightning bolts, the aurora, current sheets, and solar flares.>>

:arrow: (1) Pinches apply a huge voltage across a tube. This tube is filled with fusion fuel, typically deuterium gas. If the multiplication of the voltage & the charge is higher than the ionization energy of the gas the gas ionizes. (2) Current jumps across this gap. (3) The current makes a magnetic field which is perpendicular to the current. This magnetic field pulls the material together. (4) These atoms can get close enough to fuse.
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Re: Z-pinch fusion of hydrogen?

Postby BDanielMayfield » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:43 am

neufer wrote:
BDanielMayfield, ages ago wrote:That bright spot would be the place where gas falling from the companion star hits the rapidly rotating outer edge of the accretion disk. Friction from this collision is what would cause this point to be white hot. The rotation rate gets faster and faster of course as the gas/plasma in the accretion disk spirals toward the black hole. Friction between particles heats this material again as it migrates toward the inner edge of the disk.

I don't believe that the gas falling from the companion star actually ever "hits" the rapidly rotating outer edge of the accretion disk.

Rather... the gas stream probably smoothly converges into a tight non-intersecting spiral
(with each spiral band moving at approximately the same velocity as its neighboring bands in any event).

I think someone took a close look at the strong confluence taking place at the entry point of the accretion disk spiral and determined that that would be the ideal spot for Z-pinch fusion of hydrogen to occur:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinch_(plasma_physics) wrote:
<<A pinch is the compression of an electrically conducting filament by magnetic forces. The conductor is usually a plasma, but could also be a solid or liquid metal. Pinches were the first device used by humankind for controlled nuclear fusion. The phenomenon may also be referred to as a Bennett pinch (after Willard Harrison Bennett), electromagnetic pinch, magnetic pinch, pinch effect or plasma pinch. Pinches occur naturally in electrical discharges such as lightning bolts, the aurora, current sheets, and solar flares.>>

:arrow: (1) Pinches apply a huge voltage across a tube. This tube is filled with fusion fuel, typically deuterium gas. If the multiplication of the voltage & the charge is higher than the ionization energy of the gas the gas ionizes. (2) Current jumps across this gap. (3) The current makes a magnetic field which is perpendicular to the current. This magnetic field pulls the material together. (4) These atoms can get close enough to fuse.


Glad to have my earlier notion corrected Art.

Places where fusion occurs outside of stellar interiors are cool, in a billions of Kelvins kind of way. :ssmile:

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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby BDanielMayfield » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:20 am

However, remembering a few times when I've been snookered by the Artful neufer, I must ask: Has this Z-pinch at the outer edge of the accretion disk been confirmed or observed? Perhaps I shouldn't relinquish my earlier notion quite so easily.

Why would gas spilling from the swelling star not fall more directly towards the BH? What would cause a Z-pinch compression at that particular site?

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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby neufer » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:22 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
However, remembering a few times when I've been snookered by the Artful neufer, I must ask: Has this Z-pinch at the outer edge of the accretion disk been confirmed or observed? Perhaps I shouldn't relinquish my earlier notion quite so easily.

Why would gas spilling from the swelling star not fall more directly towards the BH? What would cause a Z-pinch compression at that particular site?

Hi Bruce,

All I can say is that I think the 'artwork' itself was probably based on the Z-PINCH fusion idea (rather than any collision).

    However, I have no idea if it actually is
    or even if the 'artwork' is realistic in regards to the hot spot.
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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby BDanielMayfield » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:01 pm

neufer wrote:All I can say is that I think the 'artwork' itself was probably based on the Z-PINCH fusion idea (rather than any collision).

    However, I have no idea if it actually is
    or even if the 'artwork' is realistic in regards to the hot spot.


Hello Art.

That's a fine answer. So, as with many things, the jury is still out, as it were.

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Re: Z-pinch fusion of hydrogen?

Postby Ann » Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:24 am

neufer wrote:I don't believe that the gas falling from the companion star actually ever "hits" the rapidly rotating outer edge of the accretion disk.

Rather... the gas stream probably smoothly converges into a tight non-intersecting spiral
(with each spiral band moving at approximately the same velocity as its neighboring bands in any event).

I think someone took a close look at the strong confluence taking place at the entry point of the accretion disk spiral and determined that that would be the ideal spot for Z-pinch fusion of hydrogen to occur:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinch_(plasma_physics) wrote:
<<A pinch is the compression of an electrically conducting filament by magnetic forces. The conductor is usually a plasma, but could also be a solid or liquid metal. Pinches were the first device used by humankind for controlled nuclear fusion. The phenomenon may also be referred to as a Bennett pinch (after Willard Harrison Bennett), electromagnetic pinch, magnetic pinch, pinch effect or plasma pinch. Pinches occur naturally in electrical discharges such as lightning bolts, the aurora, current sheets, and solar flares.>>



Fascinating, Art. I hadn't really thought of what causes the bright light of lightning bolts. So it is indeed fusion?

Some years ago a 14-year-old Swedish girl was knocked unconscious by a bolt of lightning. Otherwise unhurt, she told reporters afterwards:

"All I remember is a flash of bright blue light."

So, Art, and others who might know, are lightning bolts typically hot enough to be blue? What temperature are they usually?

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Re: Z-pinch fusion of hydrogen?

Postby BDanielMayfield » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:27 am

Ann wrote:
neufer wrote:I don't believe that the gas falling from the companion star actually ever "hits" the rapidly rotating outer edge of the accretion disk.

Rather... the gas stream probably smoothly converges into a tight non-intersecting spiral
(with each spiral band moving at approximately the same velocity as its neighboring bands in any event).

I think someone took a close look at the strong confluence taking place at the entry point of the accretion disk spiral and determined that that would be the ideal spot for Z-pinch fusion of hydrogen to occur:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinch_(plasma_physics) wrote:
<<A pinch is the compression of an electrically conducting filament by magnetic forces. The conductor is usually a plasma, but could also be a solid or liquid metal. Pinches were the first device used by humankind for controlled nuclear fusion. The phenomenon may also be referred to as a Bennett pinch (after Willard Harrison Bennett), electromagnetic pinch, magnetic pinch, pinch effect or plasma pinch. Pinches occur naturally in electrical discharges such as lightning bolts, the aurora, current sheets, and solar flares.>>



Fascinating, Art. I hadn't really thought of what causes the bright light of lightning bolts. So it is indeed fusion?

Some years ago a 14-year-old Swedish girl was knocked unconscious by a bolt of lightning. Otherwise unhurt, she told reporters afterwards:

"All I remember is a flash of bright blue light."

So, Art, and others who might know, are lightning bolts typically hot enough to be blue? What temperature are they usually?

Ann


It's good that Earth's atmo isn't made of high temp deuterium (the isotope of hydrogen with the lowest fusion threshold), or perhaps lightning could REALLY do some serious damage! :mushroom cloud :ohno: :wink:

The outer surface of HDE 226868, the Blue Supergiant that is leaking onto Cygnus X-1, does contain some hot deuterium however ...

Personal observation, and every photograph I've ever seen of it suggests Earth's lightning is white. Never been knocked out by it though ... :)

Bruce
Last edited by BDanielMayfield on Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby geckzilla » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:49 am

If the plasma created by lightning emits black-body radiation, then, at well over 10000 K, it should be blue.
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Re: APOD: The Tulip and Cygnus X-1 (2017 Feb 16)

Postby BDanielMayfield » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:14 pm

geckzilla wrote:If the plasma created by lightning emits black-body radiation, then, at well over 10000 K, it should be blue.


Really! That just blew my mind! Can't imagine what it must have done to Ann. :lol2:
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