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6/23/2024 8:19:27 AM
NASA forecasts once-in-a-lifetime event
NASA,Blaze Star,Astronomy,Astronomers,Celestial,Events,Star,Nova

NASA forecasts once-in-a-lifetime event

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Richard Harris Richard Harris

NASA predicts a rare celestial event this summer: an Earth-sized remnant of a dead star, approximately 3,000 light-years away, is set to explode in a spectacular nova. Visible to the naked eye, this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence offers a unique opportunity for both seasoned and amateur astronomers to witness and study.

NASA has forecasted a 'Once-in-a-Lifetime Event' this Summer. An Earth-sized remnant of a dead star, situated roughly 3,000 light-years away, is predicted to explode.

NASA scientists announced that this upcoming nova event will be so luminous that it will be visible to the naked eye from Earth. This rare occurrence involves an Earth-sized remnant of a dead star, with a mass similar to that of our sun, expected to explode sometime this summer. The exact timing remains uncertain, but NASA is closely monitoring the situation.

Photo credit: NASA

NASA predicts rare 'Blaze Star' nova explosion this summer

Described as a "once-in-a-lifetime event," this explosion is anticipated to inspire new astronomers by offering a cosmic spectacle observable without telescopes. Rebekah Hounsell, a nova expert at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, emphasized the rarity and educational potential of such an event. "It’s incredibly exciting to have this front-row seat," she said, noting that recurrent novae are seldom observed within a human lifetime.

Hounsell clarified that a nova is distinct from a supernova. Unlike supernovae, which completely destroy dying stars in a final explosion, a nova involves a smaller star ejecting accumulated material in a bright flash, without self-destruction. This process can repeat over tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years.

Observing tips for the Blaze Star

Observing tips for the 'Blaze Star'

The burst of light, though brief, will be visible to the naked eye for nearly a week. The exact timing of the nova is unpredictable. Koji Mukai, another astrophysicist at NASA, noted the contrarian nature of recurrent novae. Stargazers should first locate the Northern Crown near the Hercules constellation, using the line between Arcturus and Vega as a guide.

The earliest recorded observation of a "Blaze Star" nova dates back to 1217 when a German scientist noted a "faint star that for a time shone with great light." The last sighting from Earth was in 1946, long before many modern technologies were invented. Current advancements will provide unprecedented insights into this phenomenon.

Elizabeth Hays, chief of the Astroparticle Physics Laboratory at NASA Goddard, highlighted the importance of early data collection. Observations from citizen scientists will significantly enhance our understanding of the nova's progression.

Photo credit: NASA


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