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  • Tuesday, July 09, 2024 11:33 AM | leif Edmondson (Administrator)

    2024 Nova Explosion, ‘New’ Star in Northern Crown

    A star system, approximately 3,000 light-years  from Earth, is predicted to become visible to the unaided eye soon. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime viewing opportunity as the nova outburst only occurs about every 80 years. T Coronae Borealis, or T CrB, last exploded in 1946 and astronomers believe it will do so again between February and September 2024.

    Once its brightness peaks with similar brightness to the North Star, Polaris, it should be visible to the unaided eye for several nights and just over a week with binoculars before it dims again.

    As we wait for the nova, become familiar with the constellation Corona Borealis, or the Northern Crown — a small, semicircular arc of stars between Bootes and Hercules .   The Nova will appear just to the left of the left most star in the crown.

    This recurring nova is only one of ten known in our galaxy. This happens because TCrB is a binary star system with a white dwarf and red giant. The stars are close enough that as the red giant becomes unstable from its increasing temperature and pressure and begins ejecting its outer layers, the white dwarf collects that matter onto its surface. The shallow dense atmosphere of the white dwarf eventually heats up enough to cause a runaway thermonuclear reaction – which produces the nova we see from Earth. 

    Content created by:
    Perkins, Lauren. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. (2024, February 27).View Nova Explosion,‘New’ star in Northern Crown (Corona Borealis), Nasa Watch the Skies. ‘New’ Star in Northern Crown. Nasa Watch the Skies. in Northern Crown. Nasa Watch the Skies.

  • Saturday, November 05, 2022 2:18 PM | Jeff Gratton

    In the early morning of November 8th, the moon will be eclipsed by the Earth. One needs nothing but their eyes to watch a Lunar eclipse – no filters, goggles, or what have you. A solar eclipse is another story. But a lunar eclipse is safe to watch. Another big difference between the two is how long a lunar eclipse takes, about 6 hours, as opposed to a solar eclipse which can be over in a matter of minutes.

    The parts of the eclipse I would recommend viewing are:

    2:09 am partial eclipse phase begins – this is when the moon is changing color to red or orange. 3:16 am Totality – this is when the moon will be at its deepest color. 4:41 am Total eclipse ends – the colors slowly fade and recede.

    There are a bunch more technical phases to a lunar eclipse, but I was always most impressed during the three listed above.

    The other highly important point to keep in mind is the weather. Long range forecast predictions are the toughest to make. One that’s for sure - it will be dark ;-) But it will likely be completely clouded over, and it will likely be at or below freezing if any wind picks up.

    Eager observers will keep an eye on the clouds right before they lay down for a nap, though they may get up sometime a little before 3:00 am. If they do, they’ll likely look through a window and make their own call whether to go back to bed or to suit up in warm, heavy clothes and go outside for a look. They may possibly grab a set of binoculars or not, because if the moon is visible, your eyes will yield a great view of this really neat natural event.

    Leif Edmondson, BAS Vice President

  • Saturday, October 08, 2022 3:07 PM | Jeff Gratton

    As you can tell we have updated the website and hope that this can improve your online experience with the club. Don't be afraid to comment or leave suggestions as to ways to make the site work better for you.

    There will be more features and improvements down the road so stay tuned.

    BAC - Webmaster

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Boise, ID 83707

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