Fr.: Scorpius X-1
The first and the brightest X-ray source in the sky, after the Sun, discovered in 1962. Scorpius X-1 is a low-mass → X-ray binary consisting of a compact object like a → neutron star or a → black hole, and a low-mass stellar companion. The compact object has a mass of 1.4 → solar masses and the companion 0.42 solar masses. The orbital period is 18.9 hours, and the system lies at a distance of about 9,000 → light-years. The X-rays come from → accretion, where material from the companion overflows its → Roche lobe and spirals down onto the compact object. The luminosity results from the transformation of the falling material's → gravitational potential energy to heat by → viscosity in the → accretion disk.
Named such by the discoverers (Giacconi et al. 1962), because it was the first extrasolar → X-ray source of the sky detected in the constellation → Scorpius.