The stripped core of a star that was 12 times larger than the Sun was discovered by chance during a phase of stellar evolution.
The open core of a massive star has been observed for the first time, a discovery described as purely "grave" by the team that chimed in on it.
However, the cores of stars are those where the vast majority of stellar energy is generated by the nuclear fusion of hydrogen into helium.
They are usually obscured by the bright outer material that surrounds them. Stellar cores are exposed only in rare, extremely short-lived conditions.
Observing such a core in isolation could help astrophysicists better understand the nuclear processes taking place at the heart of stars.
The uncovered stellar core in question, a brighter previously observed star, was dubbed Gamma Columbé (γ Columbé).
Has between 4 and 5 times the mass of the Sun. The team that uncovered its exposed nature thinks it was once part of a massive star.
Whose mass was 12 times the mass of the Sun, the nature of Columbé was uncovered by astronomers.
Further examining the light spectrum emitted by this unusual star, the astronomers discovered an abundance of helium and nitrogen.
Since these nuclear ashes are usually hidden by outer stellar plasma, this indicates that Columbia's outer envelope is missing.