Astronomers Discover a Rare Star Full of Calcium, but No Clear Origin

Astronomers Discover a Rare Star Full of Calcium, but No Clear Origin

Nearly 2,000 years ago, the first human-documented supernova was observed by ancient Chinese astronomers, who witnessed a bright "guest star" lighting up the night sky in 185 AD. A couple of millennia later, scientists have proposed various explanations for what gave rise to the supernova remnant RCW 86, but now a team of astrophysicists think they've pinned it down: the supernova was caused by one half of an exploding binary star system, which blasted its stellar partner with a flood of heavy elements, including calcium.

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