NASA predicts a “once-in-a-lifetime” event that can be seen from Earth without a telescope

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, for its acronym in English) announced that during this northern summer an event will be seen around the world “once in a lifetime”. This is a “nova” type, which will occur in a small constellation. According to specialists, it will attract the new generation of astronomers.

In a press release, NASA noted that The exact date on which this event will occur is unknown, but it will be in the northern summer or fall at the latest. For Dr. Rebekah Hounsell, a researcher at the space agency, it is “a once-in-a-lifetime event that will create many new astronomers, giving young people a cosmic event that they will be able to observe for themselves, ask their own questions and collect their own data.”

As they explained, The “Blaze star” is a binary system located in the Northern Crown, about 3,000 light years from Earth. Land. It is composed of a “white dwarf,” that is, an Earth-sized remnant of a dead star with a mass comparable to that of our own. Sun, and an “ancient red giant.” The latter is losing its hydrogen due to the gravitational attraction of the former.

“Hydrogen from the red giant accumulates on the surface of the white dwarf, causing a buildup of pressure and heat”specific. “Over time, it triggers a thermonuclear explosion large enough to blow up that accumulated material.”he added.

Dr. Hounsell explained that a nova event should not be confused with a supernova. The latter is known as, “a final, titanic explosion that destroys some dying stars,” she said. In the first, the dwarf star remains intact, sending the accumulated material into space in a blinding flash.

This event has already occurred other times and specialists indicated where to look for it

Nova T CrB, as the event that will happen this year is known, was first seen in 1217 in Germany and the last time it occurred was in 1946. Thanks to the patterns, it is known that September 2024 would be the new opportunity to witness the event.

What is there to look for in heaven?

During this event, people should look for the “Northern Crown,” a horseshoe-shaped curve of stars west of the Hercules constellation. According to specialists, it looks much better at night. To identify it, you must locate the two brightest stars in the northern hemisphere, Arcturus and Vega, between the two of which will be the point of the explosion. You don’t need a telescope, but you can see it with the naked eye.

Despite the expectation, the month of September may pass without the phenomenon being visualized. “Recurrent novas are unpredictable and contrary”, said Koji Mukai, NASA astrophysics researcher. “Just when you think there can’t be a reason for them to follow a certain pattern, they do., and as soon as you start trusting them to repeat the same pattern, they deviate from it completely. We will see how T CrB behaves,” she said.

How common is a nova explosion?

According to NASA, astronomers believe that the frequency with which a nova explosion occurs is not so recurring. They explain that on average every 80 years or at the end of the century about two or three supernovae occur in galaxies in our Milky Way.

However, they explain that the universe contains several galaxies. “A few hundred supernovae are observed per year outside our galaxy. “Space dust blocks our vision for most,” says NASA.

How bright can they be?

Additionally, novas are events that generate a show that generates a series of lights.

“These spectacular events can be so bright that they can eclipse their entire galaxies for days or even months. “They can be seen throughout the universe,” says NASA.