This Star Explosion To Be "Once-In-A-Lifetime" Cosmic Event, Says NASA

Known as "the blaze star," T Coronae Borealis is one of the galaxy's ten known recurring novas

This Star Explosion To Be 'Once-In-A-Lifetime' Cosmic Event, Says NASA

The massive explosion will take place 3,000 light years from Earth.

A nearby exploding star is expected to flare up the night sky and the extraordinary view may even outshine that of the North Star. The event is expected to take place sometime between now and September. The massive explosion 3,000 light years from Earth will give amateur astronomers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness this space oddity, according to NASA

The star will burst in a massive explosion known as a nova and it might be so large that it could be visible from the naked eye, the American space agency said. The binary star system in the constellation Corona Borealis -- "northern crown" -- is normally too dim to see with the naked eye.

"Unfortunately, we don't know the timing of this as well as we know the eclipse," Bill Cooke, lead for NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO) at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, told Fox News. He added, "But when it happens, it'll be something you'll remember."

Known as "the blaze star," T Coronae Borealis is one of the galaxy's ten known recurring novas. Mr Cooke added, "A typical nova consists of a star, like a red giant - a star bigger than the sun - and a white dwarf, which is a star about the size of the Earth. And that red giant is dumping material on the surface of that white dwarf. They're orbiting each other, and they're real close together."

Mr Cooke explained that when enough material is deposited on the surface of a white dwarf, the temperature rises to the point that a thermonuclear explosion is initiated. He said, "When that happens, that white dwarf blows all that material out in space, and it gets very bright, hundreds of times brighter than what it was before. And if it's close to us or relatively close to us, we will see a new start to appear in our sky." 

Mr Cooke said that, although it was previously visible only through a telescope, the star would suddenly flash into a brightness that is visible to the unaided eye. "T Coronae Borealis is unusual in that it doesn't blow its stack once. It does it every 79 years or so," he said. 

It will be at least the third time that humans have witnessed this event, which was first discovered by Irish polymath John Birmingham in 1866, and then reappeared in 1946, as per AFP. "At the time that star blew up, 3,000 years ago, the Bronze Age was ending," Mr Cooke said. "You had the rise of the kingdom of David in Palestine. You had all this stuff going on, but that's how far back in time that explosion occurred - 3,000 years," he added.

The NASA official added, "So to give you an idea of how bright that is - it's about as bright as Polaris, the North Star." The explosion, or the light produced when the white dwarf blows all that matter off its surface, will be visible directly to the right of the Hercules constellation. "You [will] see a new star suddenly appear there," Cooke said. "It'll look like it appears out of nowhere, and it'll stay visible for about a week before it dims back down," he added.

The event will then take place after 79 years. "It's kind of like Halley's Comet, but most people don't know much about it. Halley gets all the press," Mr Cooke said. 

He suggested that space enthusiasts should go outside to see it as soon as possible as soon as they get to know about the explosion. "Bear in mind, you're only going to have a few days to see it," Mr Cooke said, highlighting that the star explosion will eventually "fade away."