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This illustration shows the relationships between a black hole, its accretion disk and the corona.

Illustration showing the relationships between a black hole, its accretion disk and the corona.

This illustration shows the approximate relationships between the black hole, its accretion disk and the corona region (blue). The arrows show a soft X-ray (red) traveling into the corona and striking a particle moving near the speed of light. The collision scatters the light and boosts it to much higher energy, making it a hard X-ray. This process is known as inverse Compton scattering.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/J. Schnittman, J. Krolik (JHU) and S. Noble (RIT)

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