Tuesday, November 7 2017

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Massive stars explode as supernovae and leave remnants that merge to produce gravitational waves. This is an accurate, if incomplete, picture of massive stars which exists among the astronomical community. The missing piece of this narrative is what evolutionary path leads to these significant events. The main reason for the exclusion of such information is largely because there is a great deal of uncertainty. What leads up to a supernova or even whether a star will explode at all is a matter of debate.