Scientists have discovered evidence of a massive star from the early universe that does not fit with our current understanding of the cosmos. The ancient stellar oddball, which researchers have dubbed the “Barbenheimer Star,” likely had a mix of elements in its core that has never been seen before — then, it died a seemingly impossible death while birthing an equally puzzling star in its place, a new study shows. (The name Barbenheimer is a reference to the contrasting films “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” releasing on the same day last year.)

Researchers uncovered traces of the Barbenheimer Star after taking a closer look at J0931+0038, a distant red giant star. J0931 was first discovered in 1999 by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) — one of the largest and most detailed astronomical databases of the night sky — but had not been properly analyzed until now. 

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