Artist's impression of Cygnus X-1

Cygnus X-1 is located about 10 000 light years from Earth. It is one of the more violent places in our Galaxy. The black hole, Cygnus X-1, contains about five times the mass of the Sun, squeezed into a tiny sphere a few kilometres in diameter. Because of its density, it possesses an enormous gravitational field, which is pulling matter away from its companion star, HDE 226868. The companion is a massive star, known as a blue supergiant. It has an extremely hot surface temperature of 31 000K. As the gas spirals towards the black hole, it is heated even further and gives off X-rays and gamma rays. Uniquely, Integral can detect all these types of radiation.


NASA, ESA, Martin Kornmesser (ESA/Hubble)

About the Image

Release date:1 January 2002
Size:3508 x 2480 px

About the Object

Name:Cygnus X-1
Type:• Milky Way : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Black Hole
• X - Quasars/AGN/Black Hole Images/Videos
Distance:7000 light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
999.4 KB
Screensize JPEG
186.4 KB


Also see our