Definition of accretion disk in US English:

accretion disk

(British accretion disc)


  • A rotating disk of matter formed by accretion around a massive body (such as a black hole) under the influence of gravitation.

    • ‘During Hadean time, the Earth and Solar System formed by coagulation and gravitational contraction from a large cloud of gas and dust around the sun, called an accretion disc.’
    • ‘On the way in, it would form a swirling accretion disc, like water going down the plughole of a bath, with gas piling up and getting hot as gravitational energy is converted into energy of motion.’
    • ‘Astronomers speculate that some then migrate inwards, dragged by the remaining material in the accretion disk around the star.’
    • ‘As the matter in the accretion disk spirals toward the black hole it is heated to very high temperatures and emits strong highly energetic electromagnetic radiation.’
    • ‘As gas from the companion star spirals onto the so-called accretion disk surrounding the black hole, the material emits X rays and other radiation.’
    • ‘We think we're viewing the accretion disk at a slightly tilted angle, and we see the light from each of these flares rise and fall in energy as they orbit the black hole.’
    • ‘Stellar matter will then fall either directly onto the surface of the neutron star, or first form an accretion disk before falling onto the surface.’
    • ‘Some black holes are thought to have accretion disks.’
    • ‘A Type Ia supernova, on the other hand, if the widely accepted model is correct, involves a white dwarf star, an orbiting companion, and an accretion disk - an inherently asymmetric configuration.’
    • ‘Mass is being transferred from the lower mass companion onto the central white dwarf, either via an accretion disc, or directly along magnetic field lines if the magnetic field of the central white dwarf is strong enough.’
    • ‘But before this material is permanently captured, it gathers into a swirling accretion disk that surrounds the black hole and radiates intensely.’
    • ‘The existence of a bridge would indicate that, in addition to capturing material from the stellar wind, Mira B is also pulling material directly off Mira A into the accretion disk.’
    • ‘The Blandford-Znajek theory implies that energy flows to particle jets emanating perpendicularly from the accretion disk in certain supermassive black hole systems called quasars.’
    • ‘Gas and dust funnel towards a black hole in an accretion disk, swirling around and into the void like water down a drain.’
    • ‘It is basically the study of X-rays produced in very energetic objects - for example, accretion discs around black holes.’
    • ‘Now, of course, I knew that most astronomers think a quasar is a black hole with matter falling into it from an accretion disk, and that for some reason it is ejecting charged particles along its magnetic poles.’
    • ‘The stars are replaced by a homogenous sea of glowing hot gas with embedded jewels of stellar accretion disks, neutron stars and super nova remnants.’
    • ‘Matter funnels into this black hole like water swirling down a drain, forming what is called an accretion disk.’
    • ‘The galactic dust and gas fall into the black hole's accretion disk producing some very hot regions where huge quantities of energy are released.’
    • ‘Jets of matter are propelled out from the center perpendicular to the plane of the accretion disc.’