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  • The first observed wimpy supernova may have birthed a neutron star duo

A faint, fleeting supernova may be the key to understanding how neutron star duos are born.

Astronomers have spotted what seems to be an ultrastripped supernova: a massive star in its death throes after its outer layers of gas have been siphoned off slowly by a compact companion such as a neutron star or black hole.

“This is the first of its kind: the first ultrastripped supernova that has been observed,” says astronomer Kishalay De of Caltech. Similar supernovas could lead to binary neutron stars like the pair that was caught colliding in 2017, he and his colleagues report in the Oct. 12 Science.

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