Scientists announce a once-in-a-lifetime event that will light up the night sky

Astronomers are preparing for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will happen approximately 3,000 light years away from Earth, yet will be visible.

1 minute & 22 seconds read time

Amateur astronomers around the world are preparing to view an astronomical event that only occurs once every 80 years, and it's expected to happen between now and September this year.

Artistic impression

Artistic impression

The event can be traced back to a binary star system within the constellation Corona Borealis, also known as the "Northern Crown." This star system is too dim to see with the naked eye, but after taking a closer look with space-observing instruments, astronomers find two stars: one massive red giant and a smaller white dwarf. Both of these stars are locked in a gravitational tug of war and represent different stages in a star's life. The red giant is a star that has burnt through all its hydrogen, expanding it massively and is actually what's expected to happen to our own Sun.

The other is a white dwarf, which is much further down the road in the death of a star as all of its atmosphere has been completely blown away, leaving behind an incredibly dense core. The once-in-a-lifetime event is a result of the interaction between these two stars, as matter ejected from the red giant gets gobbled up by the white dwarf, slowly building around its surface. Reports indicate that once the white dwarf has accumulated approximately the same amount of matter as the Earth, it creates a thermonuclear reaction.

The interaction causes a "big explosion and within a few seconds the temperature goes up 100-200 million degrees" Celsius, said Joachim Krautter, a retired German astronomer who has studied the nova

You will not need astronomical instruments to see the explosion as it create a star in the sky as bright as the North Star. All you will have to do is look in the direction of the Corona Borealis.

"You simply have to go out and look in the direction of the Corona Borealis," Krautter said

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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