The ‘Blaze Star’ Will Appear In The Sky Soon. When, Where & How To See It


An incredible celestial event is about to happen: the “Blaze Star,” officially known as T Coronae Borealis (T CrB), is expected to explode in a dazzling display visible to the naked eye.

Here’s everything you need to know to catch this spectacular sight.

What is the Blaze Star?

The Blaze Star is a rare type of star known as a recurrent nova, located 3,000 light-years away.

It’s part of a binary system where a red giant star and a smaller white dwarf star orbit each other.

Every 80 years, the red giant dumps matter onto the white dwarf, causing a massive explosion.

The last such explosion happened in 1946, and astronomers believe we’re due for another one soon.

When to Watch

The Blaze Star could erupt anytime between now and September 2024.

When it does, it will brighten from a magnitude of +10 (not visible to the naked eye) to around +2, making it as bright as Polaris, the North Star.

This means it will be easily visible without a telescope.

How to Find the Blaze Star

Finding T Coronae Borealis in the night sky is easier than you might think. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Locate the Big Dipper: On any clear night, look high in the northern sky for the Big Dipper.
  • Follow the Handle to Arcturus: Trace the handle of the Big Dipper in a curve to find Arcturus, a bright, reddish star in the eastern horizon.
  • Spot Vega: Look towards the east-northeast for Vega, another bright star.
  • Find Corona Borealis: Look between Arcturus and Vega. Closer to Arcturus, you’ll see a faint, curled pattern of seven stars. This is the Corona Borealis constellation, also known as the Northern Crown. The Blaze Star is within this constellation.

Special Viewing Event

For a more precise location, tune in to the Virtual Telescope Project’s live stream on June 24 at 4 PM ET.

Astronomers will use the flyby of an asteroid called Pallas to pinpoint the Blaze Star’s position in the sky.

Why the Blaze Star Shines

The Blaze Star’s explosions occur because the red giant star transfers material to the white dwarf, leading to a massive outburst.

This phenomenon repeats roughly every 80 years, and the star has been following a predictable pattern.

It brightened noticeably in 2015 and dimmed in March 2023, suggesting an imminent explosion.

What to Expect

When the Blaze Star erupts, it will become 600 times brighter, similar to its last explosion in 1946.

It will be visible to the naked eye for several days and can be seen with binoculars or a small telescope for over a week.

Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime event! Keep an eye on the night sky and enjoy the Blaze Star’s spectacular show.