Back in February 2016Astronomers published the news that the T Coronae Borealis star system has entered a “stage of unprecedented high activity.” Eight years later, this solar activity could give rise to a nova large enough to be seen from Earth with the naked eye.

The impending celestial display is thanks to the expected White dwarf An eruption that will increase in brightness ten thousand times. NASA scientists and astronomers are eagerly awaiting to see it, just as we longed to see it Solar eclipse And the Northern lights Over the past few years.

In a nova event, a white dwarf star pulls solar material from a nearby red giant. When the temperature and pressure get too high, the result is a thermonuclear explosion. This makes the white dwarf appear brighter in the sky, but it does not disintegrate, and once the explosion dissipates, the star returns to its original brightness. This massive explosion is a nova.

The nova can be seen with the naked eye for up to a week after it occurs. During that period, it will appear as if a new star has appeared in the sky. According to NASA, the explosion could happen at any time, day or night, between now and September, although scientists say it could take longer.

this NASA video Shows what it looks like.

The last supernova of this star system was in 1946

The cosmic light show is presented by T Coronae Borealis, also known as the Blaze Star or T CrB. It is a binary star system consisting of a white dwarf and an ancient red giant about 3,000 light-years from Earth in the northern crown of the Milky Way. It is part of the Corona Borealis constellation that makes a distinctive “C” shape in the sky, especially during the summer months.

A white dwarf, the remains of a dead star, is about the size of Earth but has the same mass as the Sun. Meanwhile, the aging red giant is a dying star that is releasing its material into space. The white dwarf’s enormous gravitational force pulls material ejected from the red giant. Once the white dwarf has accumulated enough material, the temperature increases to the point that it causes a runaway thermonuclear reaction. This explosion is called a nova.

The previous supernova from this star system occurred in 1946. It is a continuous cycle since it was first discovered more than 800 years ago.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event that will create a lot of new astronomers, and give young people a cosmic event that they can observe for themselves, ask their own questions, and collect their own data.” He said Rebecca Hounsel, an associate research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “It will nurture the next generation of scientists.”

Where is Corona Borealis located?

You’re probably not as familiar with the Corona Borealis as you are with easier-to-spot constellations, like the Big Dipper. It is difficult to find in the night sky unless it is clearly visible. Light pollution from big cities can make it more difficult to find.

NASA says the easiest way to find Corona Borealis is to find Vega and Arcturus, the two brightest stars in the Northern Hemisphere. (Skygazing applications Because your phone can help with this.) From there, you can draw an imaginary line between the two. Corona Borealis is roughly in the middle. You can use the graphic below to see what we mean.

Image from NASA showing the constellations in the night sky. Image from NASA showing the constellations in the night sky.

The nova will occur in the constellation Corona Borealis near the constellation Hercules, directly between Vega and Arcturus.


Alternatively, you can also look for the constellation Hercules and Corona Borealis will be right next to it. Remember, you can’t see the star in question until the nova explodes, so if you look up at the sky before it happens, the place where the nova will occur will not be visible.

When will T CrB nova occur?

No one knows for sure. Only astronomers and scientists know that the nova will erupt at any time. Most agree that the nova should occur anytime before about September, although it may take longer.

Since a nova can happen at any moment, NASA relies on citizen astronomers and space enthusiasts to point out when a nova has occurred.

“Using social media and email, (monitors) send instant alerts.” Elizabeth Hayes said, head of the Astroparticle Physics Laboratory at NASA Goddard. “We are counting on the global community to engage again with T CrB.”

Early detection could also help NASA collect more data about the event to better understand its mechanisms.

“We will observe the supernova event at its peak and during its decline, as the visible energy of the explosion fades,” Hounsel said. “But it is equally important to obtain data during the early height period of the eruption – so the data collected by these enthusiastic citizen scientists who are now searching for the nova will contribute significantly to our findings.”

Do I need a telescope to see a nova?

No, NASA says the nova will be visible to the naked eye on a clear night.

It’s important to know what to look for. The nova will not look like an explosion like you see in Michael Bay movies. It will simply look like another star in the sky that wasn’t there before.

It will also be very bright, so it should be fairly noticeable. Those with telescopes and binoculars will have a better view.

What is the difference between a supernova and a supernova?

Most people have heard of the term “supernova.” It is the star’s last moments when darkness falls. However, those final moments of death also happen to be the largest explosion humans have ever seen, as the star violently spews material into space. Scientists believe that supernovae are responsible for this Elements heavier than iron in the universe. Oddly enough, even the iron in your blood can be traced back to supernovas or similar cosmic explosions.

On the other hand, a nova requires two stars. One star is always a white dwarf, while the other is usually a red giant.

There are other types of nova too. Supernovas are supernovae that reach a certain size and brightness. They are usually about 10 or more times brighter than a standard supernova. Another type, the extremely rare kilonova, occurs when two neutron stars collide, releasing an incredible gravitational wave along with electromagnetic radiation.

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