Anticipating the Cosmic Explosion: Scientific Prediction of a Nova Explosion This Year

rasyiqi By rasyiqi - Writer, Digital Marketer
4 Min Read
Bintang raksasa merah dan katai putih saling mengorbit dalam animasi nova. Foto: NASA

jlk – In 2024, around September, researchers predict that there will be a massive explosion in outer space, approximately 3,000 light-years away from Earth.

This event will occur during the nighttime, providing an opportunity for astronomers to witness this rare spectacle of outer space.

Binary Star System in the T Coronae Borealis Constellation

The binary star system in the T Coronae Borealis constellation is usually difficult to observe with the naked eye due to its dim light.

However, every 80 years or so, the interaction between its two stars triggers a powerful nuclear explosion.

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The light from this explosion travels through the cosmos, making it appear like a new star – equivalent to the North Star according to NASA – suddenly appearing in the night sky for several days.

History of Nova Explosions

This will be the third time that humans witness an explosion from the binary star system in the Corona Borealis constellation, which was first discovered by the polymath Irishman, John Birmingham, in 1866, and reappeared again in 1946.

Sumner Starrfield, an astronomer at Arizona State University, expresses great enthusiasm to witness this nova explosion. Starrfield has been waiting for the moment of the T Coronae Borealis explosion since the 1960s.

The Process of a Nova Explosion

One of the stars involved is a dying cool star called a red giant that has burned its hydrogen and expanded massively.

The other star is a white dwarf, an advanced stage after the death of a star, where its atmosphere is lost, leaving behind a highly dense core.

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The difference in size between the red giant and the white dwarf is significant. This causes the T Coronae Borealis white dwarf to take 227 days to orbit its red giant companion.

However, their proximity is so close that the material expelled by the red giant accumulates near the surface of the white dwarf.

Once enough mass has accumulated on the white dwarf – which takes around 80 years – the temperature becomes hot enough to initiate an uncontrolled thermonuclear reaction.

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“This culminates in a huge explosion, and within a few seconds, temperatures rise by 100 – 200 degrees Celsius,” says Joachim Krautter, a retired German astronomer who studied novae.

Opportunity to Witness the Nova Explosion

The James Webb Space Telescope will be one of the many eyes directed towards the T Coronae Borealis explosion.

You can also witness it without needing sophisticated technological devices. With that in mind, we can eagerly and curiously await this rare event.

This powerful explosion in outer space is not only evidence of the magnificence of the universe but also a valuable lesson for us about how the universe works.

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