Science News

The cosmic origin of carbon, a fundamental building block of life, is still uncertain. Massive stars play an important role in the synthesis of all heavy elements, from carbon and oxygen to iron and so on. But even though most massive stars are born in multiple systems, the nucleosynthesis models so far have almost exclusively simulated single stars. An international team of astrophysicists has now calculated the “carbon footprint” of massive stars that lose their envelope in a binary system.

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