Tags: cygnus constellation | 2022 | collision

Cygnus Constellation's 2022 Star Crash to Be Visible From Earth

Image: Cygnus Constellation's 2022 Star Crash to Be Visible From Earth

A red nebula. (Dremstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Jan 2017 08:42 AM

The Cygnus Constellation will experience an explosion in 2022 when two stars collide to create a new celestial body in the Northern Cross – if a Michigan college professor has his numbers right.

Larry Molnar is predicting that a binary star – which is actually two stars orbiting each other – will merge and explode on 2022, give or take a year, said a new release from Calvin College in Grand Rapids.

Molnar first made the prediction in 2015 and presented more details last week at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Grapevine, Texas, said National Public Radio.

"It's a one-in-a-million chance that you can predict an explosion," said Molnar, adding that the new star will be visible to the naked eye. "It's never been done before."

Molnar has been working with Karen Kinemuchi, of the Apache Point Observatory, and Henry Kobulnicky, of the University of Wyoming, to keep an eye on the binary star officially known as KIC 9832227.

The group has been closely watching it since 2013 and observed that its orbital period was slowing down, suggesting it could be following the pattern of a star that exploded unexpectedly in 2008, said NPR.

Researchers believe the stars are now so close together that they likely share a common gassy shell, meaning that as the system whirls around each other, they begin to look more like an "astro-peanut" than two different points of light, said National Geographic.

"The two stars orbit each other every 11 hours, and they both spin in synchronism with their orbit, so the stars always face the same side toward each other," said Molnar.

The colliding stars will create what is called a red nova, an explosion somewhere between the cataclysmic brightness of a supernova and a routine classical nova, said National Geographic.

"Explosions of this size occur about once a decade in our galaxy," Molnar told National Geographic. "This case is unusual in how close the star is, and hence how bright we will see it shine. This case is (also) unique in that it is the first time anyone has predicted an explosion in advance."

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The Cygnus Constellation will experience an explosion in 2022 when two stars collide to create a new celestial body in the Northern Cross – if a Michigan college professor has his numbers right.
cygnus constellation, 2022, collision
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2017-42-10
Tuesday, 10 Jan 2017 08:42 AM
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