Odd White Dwarfs (image) San Francisco State University Caption Twenty-four unusual stars have been spotted in an ancient swarm of stars in the Milky Way. These white dwarfs, a type of dead star, are made of helium rather than the usual carbon and oxygen, and appear as faint, pale blue stars. This collection of helium-core white dwarfs was discovered by a team including Professor Adrienne Cool of San Francisco State University and Rachel Strickler of UC Santa Cruz. They suggest that thousands of stars in star cluster NGC 6397 are coupled with close companions that interfere with their normal development, resulting in these odd white dwarfs made of helium. Credit Jay Anderson / Space Telescope Science Institute Usage Restrictions None Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.