Ultra-stripped supernovae are different from other terminal explosions of massive stars, as they show little or no ejecta from the actual supernova event1,2. They are thought to occur in massive binary systems after the exploding star has lost its surface through interactions with its companion2. Such supernovae produce little to no kick, leading to the formation of a neutron star without loss of the binary companion, which itself may also evolve into another neutron star2. Here we show that a recently discovered high-mass X-ray binary, CPD −29 2176 (CD −29 5159; SGR 0755-2933)3,4,5,6, has an evolutionary history that shows the neutron star component formed during an ultra-stripped supernova. The binary has orbital elements that are similar both in period and in eccentricity to 1 of 14 Be X-ray binaries that have known orbital periods and eccentricities7. The identification of the progenitors systems for ultra-stripped supernovae is necessary as their evolution pathways lead to the formation of binary neutron star systems. Binary neutron stars, such as the system that produced the kilonova GW170817 that was observed with both electromagnetic and gravitational energy8, are known to produce a large quantity of heavy elements9,10.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Access Nature and 54 other Nature Portfolio journals
Get Nature+, our best-value online-access subscription
$29.99 per month
cancel any time
Subscribe to this journal
Receive 51 print issues and online access
$199.00 per year
only $3.90 per issue
Rent or buy this article
Get just this article for as long as you need it
Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout
The reduced spectroscopic data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request. The raw data are available from the NOIR Lab archive. BPASS results and stellar models are available from bpass.auckland.ac.nz.
The data analysis code used in this analysis is all open-source software. BPASS results and stellar models are available from bpass.auckland.ac.nz.
De, K. et al. A hot and fast ultra-stripped supernova that likely formed a compact neutron star binary. Science 362, 201 (2018).
Tauris, T. M., Langer, N. & Podsiadlowski, P. Ultra-stripped supernovae: progenitors and fate. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 451, 2123 (2015).
Barthelmy, S. D. et al. Swift detection of a likely new SGR: SGR 0755-2933. The Astronomer’s Telegram 8831, 1 (2016).
Archibald, R. F. et al. Swift XRT observations of SGR J0755-2933. The Astronomer’s Telegram 8868, 1 (2016).
Surnis, M. P. et al. Upper limits on the pulsed radio emission from SGR candidate SGR 0755-2933. The Astronomer’s Telegram 8943, 1 (2016).
Doroshenko, V., Santangelo, A., Tsygankov, S. S. & Ji, L. SGR 0755-2933: a new high-mass X-ray binary with the wrong name. Astron. Astrophys. 647, 165 (2021).
Reig, P. Be/X-ray binaries. Astrophys. Space Sci. 332, 1 (2011).
Abbott, B. P. et al. Multi-messenger observations of a binary neutron star merger. Astrophys. J. Lett. 848, L12 (2017).
Chornock, R. et al. The electromagnetic counterpart of the binary neutron star merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. IV. Detection of near-infrared signatures of r-process nucleosynthesis with Gemini-South. Astrophys. J. Lett. 848, L19 (2017).
Watson, D. et al. Identification of strontium in the merger of two neutron stars. Nature 574, 497 (2019).
Fernie, J. D., Hiltner, W. A. & Kraft, R. P. Association II PUP and the classical Cepheid AQ Pup. Astron. J. 71, 999 (1966).
Reed, B. C. & Fitzgerald, M. P. A photoelectric UBV catalogue of 610 stars in Puppis. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 205, 241 (1983).
Vijapurkar, J. & Drilling, J. S. MK spectral types for OB + stars in the southern Milky Way. Astrophys. J. Supp. Ser. 89, 293 (1993).
Reed, B. C. Catalog of galactic OB stars. Astron. J 125, 2531 (2003).
Lucy, L. B. Spectroscopic binaries with elliptical orbits. Astron. Astrophys. 439, 663 (2005).
Eldridge J. J. & Tout C. A. The Structure and Evolution of Stars (World Scientific, 2019).
Chevalier, C. & Ilovaisky, S. A. HIPPARCOS results on massive X-ray binaries. Astron. Astrophys. 330, 201 (1998).
Eldridge, J. J. et al. Binary population and spectral synthesis version 2.1: construction, observational verification, and new results. Pub. Astron. Soc. Aus. 34, 58 (2017).
Stanway, E. R. & Eldridge, J. J. Re-evaluating old stellar populations. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 479, 75 (2018).
Woosley, S. E. & Heger, A. The remarkable deaths of 9-11 solar mass stars. Astrophys. J. 810, 34 (2015).
Podsiadlowski, P. H. et al. The effects of binary evolution on the dynamics of core collapse and neutron star kicks. Astrophys. J. 612, 1044 (2004).
Shenar, T. et al. An X-ray quiet black hole born with a negligible kick in a massive binary within the Large Magellanic Cloud. Nat. Astron. 6, 1085 (2022).
Allan, A. P. et al. The possible disappearance of a massive star in the low-metallicity galaxy PHL 293B”. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 496, 1902 (2018).
Garmire, G. P. et al. X-ray and gamma-ray telescopes and instruments for astronomy. Proc. SPIE 4851, 28 (2003).
Gaia Collaboration et al. Gaia data release 2. Summary of the contents and survey properties. Astron. Astrophys. 616, 1 (2018). 1804.09365.
Bailer-Jones, C. A. L. et al. Estimating distance from parallaxes. IV. Distances to 1.33 billion stars in Gaia data release 2. Astron. J. 156, 58 (2018).
Rivinius, T. H. et al. Classical Be stars. Rapidly rotating B stars with viscous Keplerian decretion disks. Astron. Astrophys. Rev. 21, 69 (2013).
Watson, C. L. et al. The international variable star index (VSX). In Proc. 25th Annual Conference of the Society for Astronomical Sciences, Vol. 25 (eds Warner B. D. et al.) 47–56 (Society for Astronomical Sciences, 2006).
Samus’, N. N. et al. General catalogue of variable stars: version GCVS 5.1. Astron. Rep. 61, 80 (2017).
Tokovinin, A. et al. CHIRON—a fiber fed spectrometer for precise radial velocities. Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. 125, 1336 (2013). 1309.3971.
Parades, L. et al. The solar neighborhood XLVIII: nine giant planets orbiting nearby K dwarfs, and the CHIRON spectrograph’s radial velocity performance. Astron. J. 162, 176 (2021).
Lenz, P. & Breger, M. Period04 user guide. Commun. Asteroseismol. 146, 53 (2005).
Pablo, H. et al. The most massive heartbeat: an in-depth analysis of Orionis. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 467, 2494 (2017).
Prša, A. et al. Physics of eclipsing binaries. II. Toward the increased model fidelity. Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 227, 29 (2016). 1609.08135.
Barton, C. & Milson, N. BinaryStarSolver: orbital elements of binary stars solver. Astrophysics Source Code Library, record ascl:2012.004 (https://ascl.net/2012.004; 2020).
Bailer-Jones, C. A. L. et al. Estimating distances from parallaxes. V. Geometric and photogeometric distances to 1.47 billion stars in gaia early data release 3. Astron. J. 161, 147 (2021).
Berger, D. H. & Gies, D. R. A search for high-velocity Be stars. Astrophys. J. 555, 364 (2001).
Boubert, D. & Evans, N. W. galpy: a python library for galactic dynamics. Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 216, 29 (2015).
Bovy, J. On the kinematics of a runaway Be star population. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 477, 5261 (2018).
C.P. acknowledges support from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Undergraduate Research Institute and the Arizona Space Grant. This research was partially supported through the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Faculty Innovative Research in Science and Technology (FIRST) Program. The spectroscopy from CTIO was collected through the NOIR Lab program nos. 2018B-0137 and 2020A-0054. This research has used data from the CTIO/SMARTS 1.5m telescope, which is operated as part of the SMARTS Consortium by RECONS (www.recons.org) members T. Henry, H. James, W.-C. Jao and L. Paredes. At the telescope, observations were carried out by R. Aviles and R. Hinojosa.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Peer review information
Nature thanks John Antoniadis and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Extended data figures and tables
Extended Data Fig. 1 A typical spectrum of CPD −29 2176 around the He II λ 4686 absorption line.
Gaussian fits to the line were performed with the fitted minimum position representing our derived radial velocity for use in the orbital fits.
Extended Data Fig. 2 The Fourier spectrum of the radial velocities shown in Extended Data Table 1.
The peak at 0.016 d−1 is our derived period for the system, and the noise level in the Fourier spectrum is denoted with a horizontal dashed line at that frequency, showing a 3 σ significance for this peak.
Rights and permissions
Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.
About this article
Cite this article
Richardson, N.D., Pavao, C.M., Eldridge, J.J. et al. A high-mass X-ray binary descended from an ultra-stripped supernova. Nature 614, 45–47 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-05618-9
By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.