If you think you're having a bad day, spare a thought for the surviving star in a binary system after its stellar neighbor detonates as a powerful supernova.
Now, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and a number of ground-based telescopes have taken a close look into a supernova remnant and spied a battered star that was once part of a binary pair and, amazingly, appears to be in one piece.
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The supernova remnant DEM L241 is a glowing cloud of gas and dust in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy 199,000 light-years away. Supernova remnants are expected to remain very hot for thousands of years after the supernova has occurred, making it a perfect target for Chandra to observe the nebula's X-ray afterglow.
Once part of a binary system, one of the massive stars ran out of hydrogen fuel at the end of its life and exploded. Astrophysicists suspect that either a neutron star (the hyperdense spinning husk of a star's core) or a black hole remains behind. If confirmed, this will be only the third ever massive star-black hole/neutron star binary system discovered after a supernova.