NASA says 'once-in-a-lifetime' nova explosion will be able to be seen with naked eye

The burst of light from the explosion will be "brief," but it's expected to be visible to the naked eye for a little less than a week.

A piece of a dead star located about 3,000 light years away will explode soon and people on Earth will be able to see it with the naked eye, according to NASA scientists.

When the Earth-sized remnant of the star explodes, scientists say, the thermonuclear reaction will be bright enough to be seen from Earth as a burst of light.

The exact date when that will happen is unknown, although NASA continues to track it, the space agency said.

The “Blaze Star” is a binary system in the Northern Crown constellation comprised of a white dwarf — an Earth-sized remnant of a dead star with a mass comparable to that of the Sun — and an ancient red giant slowly being stripped of hydrogen by the gravitational pull between the two.

According to NASA, the hydrogen from the red giant “accretes on the surface of the white dwarf, causing a buildup of pressure and heat. Eventually, it triggers a thermonuclear explosion big enough to blast away that accreted material.”

How can you see it?

The burst of light from the explosion will be “brief,” but it’s expected to be visible to the naked eye for a little less than a week.

To find it, “Look up after sunset during summer months to find the constellation Hercules, then scan between Vega and Arcturus (the brightest stars in the Northern Hemisphere), where the distinct pattern of Corona Borealis may be identified,” according to NASA.

It is not known when the nova will occur.

‘Once-in-a-lifetime event’

The “once-in-a-lifetime event,” Rebekah Hounsell, an assistant research scientist specializing in nova events at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, told Fox News, “will create a lot of new astronomers out there, giving young people a cosmic event they can observe for themselves, ask their own questions, and collect their own data.

“There are a few recurrent novae with very short cycles, but typically, we don’t often see a repeated outburst in a human lifetime, and rarely one so relatively close to our own system,” she said in a statement.

The last time the “Blaze Star” nova was seen from Earth was in 1946, NASA said.

“It’s incredibly exciting to have this front-row seat,” Hounsell said.

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