Stargazers Alert: NASA Predicts Spectacular Star Explosion This Summer

The star’s explosion is noteworthy because it reoccurs roughly every 80 years, making it a rare spectacle within a human lifetime.

NASA via Wikimedia Commons
Part of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. NASA via Wikimedia Commons

NASA has announced that a rare star explosion known as a nova, will be visible to the naked eye sometime this summer, a once-in-a-lifetime occurence.

Dubbed T Coronae Borealis or the “Blaze Star,” this celestial event is located 3,000 light years away and involves a white dwarf, an Earth-sized remnant of a dead star. When hydrogen from a companion red giant accumulates on the white dwarf’s surface, it triggers a massive thermonuclear explosion, sending a blinding flash of light into space.

Unlike a supernova, which destroys the dying star, a nova leaves the star intact and can repeat its cycle.

An assistant research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Rebekah Hounsell, expressed her excitement, saying, “It’s incredibly exciting to have this front-row seat.”

“This event is significant due to its relative proximity to Earth,” Ms. Hounsell said, Fox News reports. “There are a few recurrent novae with very short cycles, but typically, we don’t often see a repeated outburst in a human lifetime, and rarely one so close to our own system.”

Although the exact date of the explosion hasn’t been confirmed, NASA estimates that the nova will be visible for about a week. To optimize your chances of catching this fleeting event, amateur astronomers should look towards the Northern Crown, a parabola-shaped constellation located west of the Hercules constellation.

To find it, trace a straight line from the two brightest stars in the Northern Hemisphere, Arcturus and Vega. This line will lead you to the Hercules constellation and then to the Corona Borealis, where the starburst will be most visible. It will appear as if a new star has suddenly lit up the sky.

The Blaze Star’s explosion is particularly noteworthy because it reoccurs roughly every 80 years, making it a rare spectacle within a human lifetime.

The New York Sun

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