Astronomers have spotted a space oddity in Earth's neighbourhood - a dead star with some unusual characteristics.
The object, known as a neutron star, was studied using space telescopes and ground-based observatories.
But this one, located in the constellation Ursa Minor, seems to lack some key characteristics found in other neutron stars.
Details of the study, by a team of American and Canadian researchers, will appear in the Astrophysical Journal.
If confirmed, it would be only the eighth known "isolated neutron star" - meaning a neutron star that does not have an associated supernova remnant, binary companion, or radio pulsations.
The object has been nicknamed Calvera, after the villain in the 1960s western film The Magnificent Seven.
Calvera is 250 to 1,000 light-years away.