Artist Impression of CK Vul
Artist impression of the collision of two stars, like the ones that formed CK Vul. The inset illustrates the inner structure of one red giant before the merger. A thin layer of 26-aluminum (brown) surrounds a helium core. An extended convective envelope (not to scale), which forms the outermost layer of the star, can mix material from inside the star to the surface, but it never reaches deep enough to dredge 26-aluminum up to the surface. Only a collision with another star can disperse 26-aluminum.