T Coronae Borealis is about to go nova! Here’s why and how to spot it | Night Sky News April 2024

From Dr. Becky.

If you’re struggling, consider therapy with BetterHelp #ad. Click https://betterhelp.com/drbecky for a 10% discount on your first month of therapy with a credentialed professional specific to your needs. | In this month we’re having fun with astrophysics April Fool’s papers, talking about the new supermassive black hole image from the Event Horizon Telescope showing the polarised light, and talking about why T Coronae Borealis is about to go nova and how to spot it when it does!

Astronomers without borders eclipse glasses donation: https://astronomerswithoutborders.org/programs/solar-glasses-distribution
Eclipse glasses USA donation program: https://eclipse23.com/
Annular eclipse map 2nd October 2025: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2024-october-2

AAVSO announcement of T Coronae Borealis pre-eruption dip: https://www.aavso.org/news/t-crb-pre-eruption-dip
JWST proposal 4607 to observe T CrB nova: https://www.stsci.edu/jwst/phase2-public/4607.pdf
Seminar by Dr Brad Schaefer from LSU on T CrB and observations you can do to help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zfg67Q-szU

Save Chandra campaign: https://www.savechandra.org/act/

Popinchalk et al. (2024; which species has seen the most total solar eclipses) – https://arxiv.org/pdf/2403.20175.pdf
Walker et al. (2024; multi-wavelength astrology) – https://arxiv.org/pdf/2403.19749.pdf
Gammal et al. (2024; solving the crisis in cosmology by varying the value of pi) – https://arxiv.org/pdf/2403.20219.pdf
Wilkins, Newman & Roper (2024; FOOD redshift epoch system) – https://arxiv.org/pdf/2403.20144.pdf

Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration (2024a; polarisation of the ring) – https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/ad2df0/pdf
Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration (2024b; physical interpretation) – https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/ad2df1/pdf

My previous video explaining the M87* black hole image – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28PEgYQ1O0Q
My previous video explaining the M87* polarised black hole image – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L47NV190q5Q
My previous video explaining the Sag A* Milky Way black hole image – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtnFwNKEmyY

00:00 Intro
00:50 The Eclipse!
01:55 Lyrids, meh
02:50 Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower
04:34 Losing Jupiter
05:32 Mars + Saturn
05:59 Toenail Moon + Mars + Saturn!
08:09 New star in the Night Sky (T Corona Borealis)
16:06 Save Chandra!
18:09 April Fools Astrophysics Papers
21:14 Black Hole Croissant – EHT sees Sag A* in polarised light
26:43 Conclusion
27:01 Bloopers

Video filmed on a Sony ⍺7 IV
Video edited by Jonny Hyman

📚 My new book, "A Brief History of Black Holes", out NOW in hardback, paperback, e-book and audiobook (which I narrated myself!): http://lnk.to/DrBecky

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🎧 Royal Astronomical Society Podcast that I co-host: podfollow.com/supermassive

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👩🏽‍💻 I’m Dr. Becky Smethurst, an astrophysicist at the University of Oxford (Christ Church). I love making videos about science with an unnatural level of enthusiasm. I like to focus on how we know things, not just what we know. And especially, the things we still don’t know. If you’ve ever wondered about something in space and couldn’t find an answer online – you can ask me! My day job is to do research into how supermassive black holes can affect the galaxies that they live in. In particular, I look at whether the energy output from the disk of material orbiting around a growing supermassive black hole can stop a galaxy from forming stars.