Accretion disk



the rapidly spinning disk of gas that forms around the more compact component of a close binary star system as mass is transferred to the compact companion from the primary star.
Contemporary Examples

The direction of polarization for a quasar is determined by the accretion disk surrounding it.
The Black Hole Tango Matthew R. Francis November 23, 2014

Their gravitational pull can draw in huge amounts of gas, which swirls in a thick donut-shaped pattern known as an accretion disk.
The Supermassive Black Hole Smokescreen Matthew R. Francis June 21, 2014

accretion disk
A spinning disk of gas and dust surrounding a celestial object with an intense gravitational field, such as a star or a black hole. In binary star systems, the gravitational attraction of the denser star can pull matter from the other star into an accretion disk in its own orbit. The material in the accretion disk eventually spirals into the attracting star and adds to its mass. The gas in accretion disks that surround black holes becomes condensed and heated as it is sucked into the hole, emitting x-rays and other radiation that provide evidence for the presence of the black hole.

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