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2024’s Biggest Star Explosion Visible in Sky After 80-Year Hiatus

In the next few months, a star in the night sky is going to burst in front of our eyes. And you will be able to see it even without a telescope in India. Wherever you live in India, you have to find this pattern in the north. This is called the Northern Crown.Now the spot you are looking at, there is nothing here yet.

nothern crown map point

But according to NASA scientists, this year there is going to be a big explosion here very soon. Which will be visible even without a telescope from our normal eyes. This explosion, can you believe it, will look like this continuously for 2-3 days. And then for the next 80 years, it will disappear again. Only to return in the future after 80 years again.

And that’s why I said that most probably this is going to be the only chance for all the people on earth to be alive. It will disappear. But how can such a dim star burst with a bright flash? This process takes years. Last time when something like this happened in the year 1600, the night sky was like this for 18 months. Not just one but two Venuses were present in the sky.

double venus light photo

So I will ask you again, –  why is this star so violent and violent?

And do you remember, I said that it is going to burst again after 80 years?

So how can this star burst once? And then it bursts again. How can this be?

Moreover, scientists are also saying that with the help of this explosion, we can also find out how life began on earth. But how?

One explosion which is being said to be going to happen after at least 3 months, how can it be connected to the process of life that began on earth 3 billion years ago? Well, the answers to all the questions are very interesting. And in order to know them, we will have to go back in time a little bit.

In the year 1866, when the source of this explosion was being recorded in a personal diary of an ordinary railway man. His name was Alexei Kamenchuk. He used to see stars in the sky every night when he went home. He was so interested in astronomy that he knew the exact location of every star and every constellation. One night when he was going home and was looking at the stars every day, he saw a strange thing in the sky. He suddenly saw a new star in the Northern Crown, the Coronae Borealis constellation. A star which was not there till yesterday.

Default_A_railway_worker_dressed_in_a_railway_shirt_stands_near

And you know what’s even more weird? That star remained as bright as our stars for 2-3 days and then disappeared again. Now, Alexei Kamenchuk was an ordinary railway man. If he wanted, he could have easily spotted this new star. But he didn’t do that. He asked himself a simple question. How long does it take for a star to become? Well, at least a million years. And after at least 7-10 billion years, that star dies.

So, what’s the difference in this?

That this star just became a star in a day and after 2-3 days, it burst. Well, this thought started eating Alexei from within. And it got the best out of his curiosity.And that’s why he started looking for clues of that missing star in that direction with his home telescope. That even if it burst, it must have left some marks behind. And with this thought, with the help of the telescope, this time, he found the remains of that star in the night sky. And that’s when he found out that the star’s remains were not just the remains of the star. The star of the eye was present there. Not only was it not visible through normal human eyes, but it was visible through the telescope. Now, this thing made Alexei even more curious. From that day, he started recording the brightness of that star every night from his telescope. And just like that, he spent the rest of his life chasing after the behavior of one particular star.

And then, one fine day, history repeated itself. In 1946, that star again lit up in the same way as Alexei recorded it in 1866. And just like the last time, it disappeared again in two to three days. And now, cut to 2016, in the same place, in the same constellation, again, some similar patterns were seen. So, what happened in 2016? Well, in 2016, when some astronomers were observing the northern hemisphere through telescopes, they saw a star that was behaving in a very strange way. They saw that it was dim-bright, dim-bright, like an ordinary star. This pattern was visible. But within a matter of four to five years, which, by the way, is an extremely short lifespan for a star’s life cycle, its brightness was drastically decreasing. And fun fact, again, this could only be seen through a telescope. So, obviously, they also started backtracing this in time. And that’s when they found out that already in 1866 to 1946, a railway man named Alexei had studied in detail. And so, the astronomers started studying Alexei’s data. So, it’s good that Alexei’s data came in handy here. And with this data, they hoped that they would get some clue. They found out that whatever happened between 1866 and 1946, were the same events as it is in 1946. And the most weird part is that in both the cases, there is exactly a gap of 80 years. So now the question is ;

  • what did these astronomers interpret from Alexei’s data?
  • Did they get the secret information with which they were able to make these predictions?
  • So what did these astronomers actually do?

Between 1866 and 1946, whatever data Alexei noted, they made a graph of brightness with the help of it.

 

 

And then they matched it with the graph they had recorded. Now this grey line here is the data from 1866 to 1946 and the blue dots are the recent data. You can clearly see that both the data are almost perfectly matching each other. But after that, suddenly in 1946, the brightness of that star has drastically increased. That is, in current times, the same peak as in 1946, this time again in 2024, the same peak will be seen in 2026. This means that the same peak that Alexei saw many years ago, the same exact peak will be seen today by our generation as well. Actually, scientists have found out that the peak that is going to happen is not a single star, but a binary system made up of two stars. Its name is T Corone Borealis, or TCRB in short. The star in this star system is a white dwarf, which means a star that is formed when a star like our sun dies. And the second star is a red giant star, which is basically just an old star.

 

white dwarf and red giant star

Now, do you know what is the most important thing about this star system?

Both these stars rotate so closely to each other that the distance between them is literally as far as the distance between the sun and Mercury. Because of this, this white dwarf is pulling the outer layer of this red giant towards itself with the help of its gravity. Due to which, around that white dwarf, an accretion disk of matter is being formed. Due to this, the weight of that disk is increasing. And as the weight increases, the matter in it starts putting pressure on each other. Due to this continuous pressure, one point comes that the temperature of the disk starts increasing and the nuclear fusion begins in the core of the star. Now, as soon as the fusion begins, that white dwarf starts throwing out energy. And due to the energy coming out of this fusion, that white dwarf throws out all its energy with a big blast. At this point, TCRB becomes five times brighter than before. Now, this phenomenon is very interesting. And astronomers call it NOVA. In fact, due to this, in 1866, Alexei suddenly saw one day without a telescope. So, now we know exactly what is happening there. But still, the question remains, that the explosion of the star, i.e. its end, in such a case, the star should have been stopped being visible forever after 1866.

graph t-year

But that did not happen. Like we discussed, in 1947, it was once again visible in the sky. And now, in 2024, it is going to be visible again. So, how does this star still survive even after it explodes? So, friends, this explosion every 80 years, is a kind of NOVA explosion. And the explosion in which a star explodes and is destroyed, that explosion is called SUPERNOVA.

NOVA explosions different from SUPERNOVA explosions

Now, how are these NOVA explosions different from SUPERNOVA explosions?

And how do they survive even after they explode?

For that, kind of the same mechanism is responsible, which is in the whistle of a pressure cooker. Meaning, the mass is not allowed to be stored to the extent that the pressure increasing from nuclear fusion goes to the extreme level and the star explodes completely. Instead,

how does the whistle of a cooker release pressure in every interval? Similarly, in some intervals, pressure is released which we see as a bright flash. And that bright energy dissipates in the empty space around it. After its release, that star stops being visible because it dims.

This is the reason why this star was shown again in 1946 and now in 2024, it is going to be seen once again. But, another question comes to mind here. In the universe, lakhs of stars are dim bright every day. Some of them even explode. Then,

why is this particular star being studied for 160 years?

Why is it so different from the rest of the other stars?

And well, that is because NASA believes that we can solve this riddle of how life began on Earth. And now, at first glance, you won’t be able to see any connection between these two. Because this star is literally 3000 light years away from us.

So how can it be connected to our life on Earth?

So, NASA says that this specific star didn’t directly give birth to life on Earth. But, all the research that has been done so far, tells us that carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, these small elements, are mostly formed by such nova explosions. Supernova explosions generate so much energy that they form big, heavy elements like iron, zinc, and gold through nuclear fusion. This means that today, where our solar system is, there must have been a star system billions of years ago where there must have been many nova explosions that threw out life-forming elements like carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, which became after the creation of the solar system and Earth. So, kind of, if you understand the depth of this, then you will understand how weird this universe is. The explosion of these stars and death is important for the creation of life on Earth. The non-living elements generated by these are connected in a set pattern and generate living molecules like DNA, RNA, and protein.

DNA, RNA, and protein photo

But then, this happened in just one aspect. There is more to it. NASA scientists say that the speed at which our universe is expanding can also be determined by the nova explosion. And that too, with more accuracy than we already have. Now,

how?  So, let’s understand this with an easy analogy. Suppose there are two mobile phones and their flashlights are equally bright. So, now, as soon as I take a phone away from you, how will you know that it has gone far?

 

Obviously, you will see its flashlights dim in comparison to other mobile’s. So, what does this mean? Well, it means that you, that first mobile phone, and then that second mobile phone, the distance between these three is increasing, right? That means, in the context of the universe, the universe is expanding. Now;

who expands the universe? Dark energy, right?

So, that’s why NASA believes that all the nova explosions that always show the same level of brightness, with their help, we can understand the secrets of the dark energy, which has been created by the help of these nova explosions. And all this is happening just because, just a few years ago, an ordinary railway man asked himself a not-so-ordinary question that, till yesterday, there was no star here. How did a star suddenly appear today? And how did this star explode in a few days? And once again, I would love to emphasize this, not by any big scientist, but by an ordinary railway man, who was just filled with curiosity.

And that, my friends, is science for you. How can a small question bring such a big contribution to science? In fact, what can it do?

It has been doing it till now. During Nikola Tesla’s time, things could only run on DC current, which could not travel far. But Tesla only asked himself one question, that what is the problem in DC current due to which it cannot travel far? And in response to this, he invented AC current, with which your TV, your fridge, your computer, everything is running.

 

Then Charles Darwin, when he went to the Galapagos Islands, he saw that there are two birds living on the same island, but both their tails are different. Why is that? And with this fundamental question, he invented a theory of evolution in just a few years, which is known to all today.

Also Newton, who asked this question, why does everything fall down? And as a result, today, the space industry, construction industry, telecommunication, the communication sector, which is flying in space, is heavily dependent on communication satellites, is able to function and grow today. And this is a scientific mindset, a cause and effect based thinking framework, that every incident, which you are not able to understand, try to find a cause and effect behind it.

Ask questions behind it, why is it like this? And try to complete that missing knowledge gap. Because trust me, this mindset will give you a good picture about this world, a good framework, which will be useful in your life to solve problems and develop creative thinking. In life, you don’t need to just close your eyes and face any problem. You need to ask questions, you need to question with logic, why is it like this? You can do some research and find possible solutions, and finally you would see that problem would get resolved. There is no rocket science behind it, but a simple mindset that runs on cause and effect, a mindset that gives you control from outside the world.

Before leaving friends, let me remind you once again, don’t miss that rare event of September 2024. If you watch that event, then click a picture of it and tag me on Instagram. My ID  is . And I will put all your pictures in the story. See you next time. Till then, as always, stay curious, keep learning, and keep growing.

 

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