NASA scientists said that an impending nova event will be so bright that people on Earth can see the burst of light with the naked eye.

According to NASA, there’s an Earth-sized remnant of a dead star, with a mass comparable to the sun, on a star about 3,000 light years from Earth that is expected to explode at some point this summer.

The exact date when that will happen is unknown, although NASA continues to track it. The spectacular explosion is “a once-in-a-lifetime event,” NASA’s nova expert Rebekah Hounsell said,


“that 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.”

Hounsell is an assistant research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, specializing in nova events. She put this summer’s event on the “Blaze Star” into historical perspective.

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

This is a nova event, which Hounsell explained is different from a supernova, which is a “final, titanic explosion” that destroys dying stars, NASA said in a press release.

In this particular event, the dwarf star will remain intact, but “accumulated material” will be blasted into the abyss of space in a “blinding flash,” according to NASA. This cycle repeats over time and can continue for tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years.


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