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More Images of X9 in 47 Tucanae
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Artist's Illustration of a White Dwarf Star in Orbit with a Black Hole
This artist's impression depicts a white dwarf star found in the closest known orbit around a black hole. As the circle around each other, the black hole's gravitational pull drags material from the white dwarf's outer layers toward it. Astronomers found that the white dwarf in X9 completes one orbit around the black hole in less than a half an hour. They estimate the white dwarf and black hole are separated by about 2.5 times the distance between the Earth and Moon — an extraordinarily small span in cosmic terms.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

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Chandra X-ray Image of X9
This discovery was made using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (shown here where low, medium, and high-energy X-rays are colored red, green, and blue respectively), plus NASA's NuSTAR telescope and the Australia Telescope Compact Array. Astronomers found this extraordinarily close stellar pairing in the globular cluster named 47 Tucanae, a dense collection of stars located on the outskirts of the Milky Way galaxy, about 14,800 light years from Earth.
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/University of Alberta/A.Bahramian et al.)

47 Tucanae (March 13, 2017)