What happens next after the total solar eclipse? … A once-in-a-lifetime ‘nova explosion’ expected to be observed in a few months – BBC.com VRESP

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picture explanation, After the nova explosion, T Corona Northern will shine as one of the brightest objects in the sky for several days.

  • reporter, mia taylor
  • reporter, BBC Future

While the whole world is focused on the total solar eclipse observed on the 8th (local time), the Northern Corona constellation, far away from Earth, is busy preparing for a spectacular nova explosion.

In the Northern Corona constellation, 3,000 light-years away from Earth, there is a binary star system consisting of a white dwarf, which is the remnant of a star that has reached the end of its life, and a red giant, which can be considered an old star.

The name of this white dwarf is ‘Crona Northern (or ‘TCrB’ for short).

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) explained that signs of a nova explosion, something that can only be seen once in a lifetime, were detected on this white dwarf. A nova explosion refers to a phenomenon in which a faint or previously invisible star suddenly brightens.

This rare space event is expected to occur within September of this year and will likely be visible to the naked eye from Earth. NASA explained that expensive telescopes will not be needed to see this spectacular performance in space.

The nova explosion of T Corona Northern is a phenomenon that occurs once every 80 years, and the last explosion occurred back in 1946.

“I’m really excited,” said William Cook, who is in charge of meteoroid research at NASA. “Even though it is a (rare) event like Halley’s Comet, which can be seen once every 1975 to 1980, a nova explosion does not receive as much media attention,” he said, adding, “The media always pays more attention to comets.”

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picture explanation, White dwarf-red giant binary star system can cause nova explosion

How do you predict when a nova explosion will occur?

According to Cook, NASA experts also don’t know when most nova explosions will occur, but there are about 10 so-called ‘repeating novae’.

“A repeating nova refers to a nova that explodes periodically,” Cook explained. “And T Corona Northern is a representative example.”

So how can NASA be sure that T Corona Australis will explode in the next few months? This depends on mathematical calculations and tangible evidence.

First of all, the last time T Corona Northern suddenly brightened up was 78 years ago, in 1946. And time continues to pass.

And, according to Cook, there are other signs that T Corona Northern may explode again as a nova.

“We know that T Corona Northern will be dark and faint for about a year before it explodes as a nova. And T Corona Northern began to dim in March last year. Therefore, we can expect a nova to explode within the end of September.”

In addition, T Corona Northern is even more special because it has shown a much more stable re-explosion rate than many other novae as observed over the past several years.

“Many nova explosions have been discovered so far, but most of them do not explode repeatedly,” said Meredith McGregor, an assistant professor who studies stellar activity at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University. “The cycle is so long that it is difficult to know when it will explode again.” He explained.

Richard Townsend, astronomy professor at the University of Wisconsin, USA, added that the nova explosion period varies from one year to millions of years.

What causes a nova explosion?

Meanwhile, NASA experts are said to not only be able to calculate the timing of specific nova explosions, such as Corona T Northern, but also know the causes of such nova explosions.

T Corona Northern is a white dwarf that forms a binary star system with a red giant star surrounding it. A binary system is two stars orbiting around a common center of mass.

According to Cook, a white dwarf has a mass similar to our sun, but its diameter is about 100 times smaller, making it similar in size to the Earth. Although they have a large mass, white dwarfs are relatively small in size and boast a particularly strong gravitational force.

When the red giant star that makes up the binary star system begins to emit material, the gravity of T Corona Northern attracts this foreign material, and the material accumulates on the surface of T Corona Northern. Over the years, the material accumulates until the limit is reached.

Cook said, “In this binary star system, a phenomenon occurs in which material emitted by a red giant star accumulates on the surface of Corona Northern T,” adding, “If too much material accumulates on the surface of Corona Northern T, (in T Northern Northern) it will literally explode like a bomb.” “A nuclear fusion reaction occurs and most of the mass is ejected,” he explained.

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picture explanation, What is the cause of a nova explosion? Material from the surrounding red giant star accumulates on the surface of the white dwarf due to gravity, and eventually an explosion-like nuclear fusion reaction occurs in the white dwarf.

Professor Townsend also explained something similar. If a sufficient amount of foreign matter accumulates on the surface of T Corona Northern, and the temperature reaches millions of degrees Celsius, a nuclear fusion reaction will occur, resulting in the nova explosion phenomenon that many people are expecting.

Professor Townsend said, “This is the same phenomenon that occurs in the center of our sun,” adding, “(When a nova explodes) a huge amount of energy is released from the surface of the white dwarf.”

“This released energy causes the white dwarf to temporarily become brighter than the red dwarf, rapidly increasing the total brightness of both stars by a factor of 1,000 to 100,000 as seen from Earth.”

These explosions aid NASA’s research into mass transfer between two stars in a binary system and the nuclear fusion reactions that occur when a white dwarf explodes. And in the case of T Corona Northern, this phenomenon occurs repeatedly.

Assistant Professor McGregor said, “T Corona Northern draws material from larger stars and goes through a cycle of accumulation and explosion,” adding, “However, it usually takes thousands of years for the mass to accumulate enough to see a nova explosion. In comparison, T Corona Northern appears to have a short period. “That’s why it’s rare,” he added.

What if T Coronae Northern explodes as a nova?

image copyright, Getty Images

picture explanation, White dwarf-red giant binary star system

According to NASA, the apparent magnitude (brightness seen from Earth) of the T Corona Northern binary star system is usually around magnitude 10. However, when a nova explosion is scheduled in the future, visibility will rapidly improve to level 2. It has a brightness level similar to that of the North Star.

If that happens, T Corona Northern will be able to be observed with the naked eye from Earth.

So where should we find this divinity? NASA explained that first, we need to find the small, semi-circular arc-shaped Northern Crown constellation located between the constellations Boötes and Hercules in the sky, and explained, “A sudden increase in brightness, as if a ‘new’ bright star is forming, will be observed right here.”

However, do not misunderstand. A ‘nova explosion’ is not a phenomenon in which new stars are created. It is simply a phenomenon that occurs when a nuclear reaction occurs in a dimly visible star located far away, rapidly increasing its brightness and making it visible to our eyes.

“A nova explosion is a phenomenon that occurs in already existing stars,” said Assistant Professor McGregor. It was a star that was always there (so faint) that we couldn’t see it with the naked eye. However, as the brightness of the star suddenly brightens, it feels to us on Earth as if a new star has suddenly been born,” he explained.

“Usually white dwarfs are so small that they are difficult to see with the naked eye from Earth. However, the brightness temporarily increases due to the nuclear fusion reaction. “If there is a nova explosion, you will be able to go out at night and see it.”

Cook added that at its peak, T Corona Northern could be as bright as Mars. It is expected to shine so brightly that it can be observed with the naked eye for at least a few days. Or it may last for a week or more.

T Corona Northern, which has been stripped of all foreign matter sucked in from surrounding red giant stars, will become faint again and will be difficult to observe with the naked eye from Earth for the next several decades.

About Michael Steven

I am a news writer, editor and journalist with more than 13 years of experience. I have an MA in Journalism and have published work in various publications around the world. With me, you don't have to worry about copyright and defamation issues or being punished by search engines. You get original work that complies with media laws. Communication: I really prioritize good communication with clients, from their expectations to the initial plan and vision of the project in particular. Tell me what you want - even down to the level of 'how' you want it written. Nonetheless, I must note that self-expression is very important to me and I hope to reach a solution together with the client but not at the expense of the quality of the finished product.

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