Astronomers discover strangely missing stars in galaxies near Milky Way

A newfound population of stars in nearby dwarf galaxies represents the long-sought progenitors of a specific type of stellar death, or supernova, according to new research.

Theories have shown that, for every three massive stars, one is stripped of its outer hydrogen layers across hundreds, or even thousands, of years such that its scorching hot helium core — about 10 times hotter than the sun‘s surface — gets exposed. So, when these stars die in explosive supernovas, they leave behind hydrogen-poor environments different from other types of supernova events. Despite their theorized abundance, “they were not observed until now,” study co-author Ylva Götberg of the Institute of Science and Technology Austria said in a statement.