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Friday June 14, 2024

Nasa, global astronomers await rare nova explosion

Nasa says extremely rare nova explosion will be visible on Earth and will be seen with naked eyes

By Web Desk
June 08, 2024
The most recent recorded Nova eruption occurred in 1946. — Tech Times via Nasa/Goddard Space Flight Center
The most recent recorded Nova eruption occurred in 1946. — Tech Times via Nasa/Goddard Space Flight Center

A nova explosion in the constellation Corona Borealis is predicted to be visible from Earth this summer, which has astronomers from all around the world, including NASA, excitedly anticipating this uncommon celestial occurrence, Phys.org reported.

Stargazers have been interested in this occurrence involving the "Blaze Star," or T Coronae Borealis (T CrB).

T Coronae Borealis is a binary star system in the constellation Corona Borealis, also called the Northern Crown, that is located around 3,000 light-years from Earth, according to Nasa.

This system consists of a red giant star, an Earth-sized stellar remnant with a mass comparable to the sun, and a white dwarf. 

The red giant has pressure and heat buildup on its surface as a result of the white dwarf sucking hydrogen from it. This accumulation ultimately results in a thermonuclear explosion that produces a nova.

Dr Rebekah Hounsell, an assistant research scientist at Nasa, explains that unlike a supernova, which destroys the star, a nova just expels the accumulated material, leaving the white dwarf intact and free to resume the cycle.

The first known nova event of T CrB occurred in 1217, when the German abbot Burchard of Ursberg noticed a faint star that became abruptly bright. The most recent documented eruption was in 1946.

Scientists predict that the next explosion could occur by September 2024, based on historical trends and new findings that are similar to those made prior to the events of 1946.