Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Stellar explosion will create a ‘new star’ in the night sky

via NASA/Conceptual Image Lab/Goddard Space Flight Center
This article was originally published at Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

Astronomers are anticipating the appearance of a nova – a sudden brightening event caused by a thermonuclear explosion on the surface of a white dwarf star – in the constellation Corona Borealis between now and September 2022.

This will involve the binary star system T Coronae Borealis, which contains a white dwarf and aging red giant star in close orbit.

“Most novae happen unexpectedly, without warning,” stated William J. Cooke, NASA Meteoroid Environments Office lead. “However, T Coronae Borealis is one of 10 recurring novae in the galaxy. We know from the last eruption back in 1946 that the star will get dimmer for just over a year before rapidly increasing in brightness. T Coronae Borealis began to dim in March of last year, so some researchers are expecting it to go nova between now and September. But the uncertainty as to when this will happen is several months — can’t do better than that with what we know now.”

Every 79 years, matter transferred from the red giant to the white dwarf causes the latter to explosively ignite in a nova.

The last such event was in 1946.

Astronomers expect T Coronae Borealis to reach a brightness visible to the naked eye similar to Polaris for a period of days or weeks, allowing observation of this rare recurring nova.

NASA will study the event using telescopes like Hubble to gain insight into mass transfer and runaway thermonuclear reactions in these binary systems.

“Studying recurring novae like T Coronae Borealis help us understand the mass transfer between the stars in these systems and provide insights into the thermonuclear runaway that occurs on the surface of the white dwarf when the star goes nova,” Cooke said.

“I was a teenage astronomy geek about to start college and was outside on the night of August 29,” Cooke said. “Glancing at the sky, I noticed that the constellation of Cygnus was messed up; there was a star that shouldn’t be there. After enduring some comments from friends who thought I was crazy, I got them to look and we realized that we were looking at a nova! It was a very memorable experience and reinforced my choice of astronomy as a career. I used to joke that a star had to explode in order to get me to suffer through undergraduate physics.”

Most Popular:

Hidden Camera Exposes Biden Official

Border Patrol Marksman Takes Matters Into His Own Hands

You May Also Like