This is an artist's conception of a low mass X-ray binary star system: matter from a companion star, most likely a red dwarf, falls slowly onto a compact object and forms an accretion disk around it. The compact object can be a neutron star or a black hole. In both cases, the strong gravitational field accelerates the infalling matter and forces it to emit high energy photons.

Art Credit: Maggie Masetti, NASA

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