We might get to watch a new star explode into the sky in 2022
We might get to watch a new star explode into the sky in 2022 – RawStory
A possible red nova star explosion, like the one predicted for 2022.
To look up into the night sky is to gaze deep, deep into the past. Light moves fast, but not fast enough for us to get an instantaneous peek at the cosmos. So when we look at some of the glowing balls of plasma that light up our sky, we’re actually seeing them as they looked thousands of years ago. Even the light from our own sun is eight minutes old before it reaches Earth.
But just because the sky is a glittering time capsule doesn’t mean we can’t occasionally see something new. Or new to us, anyway. Scientists think a massive star collision occurred about 1,800 years ago, and they’re predicting that the resulting red flash will reach our eyeballs sometime around 2022.
“It’s a one-in-a-million chance that you can predict an explosion,” Calvin College astronomer Larry Molnar said in a statement. “It’s never been done before.”
For several years now, Molner and his colleagues have been studying the binary star called KIC 9832227, located about 1,276 light-years from Earth. The team bolstered the case for its star-making quality last week at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The two stars that make up this pair in the constellation Cygnus (the swan) are spiraling towards one another, destined to collide. When they do, they’re likely to form a red nova—a red-flashing explosion resulting in one new, massive star. If the researchers are correct, their years of observation will have a massive payoff: this would be the first time scientists accurately predicted the collision of two stars ahead of time.
“The project is significant not only because of the scientific results, but also because…
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