Incredibly rare stellar merger may have created strange stars

Two particularly strange stars may have formed in a lucky collision, according to new research.

What makes these two stars unusual is the high levels of carbon and oxygen at the surface of their atmospheres. Those elements are left behind as a star burns its helium, but that process takes place in the star’s core and wraps up long before carbon and oxygen start to dominate the star’s atmosphere. Weirdly, these stars seem to still be running through helium despite their odd surfaces.