Two stars predicted to collide & explode in 2022

Two stars predicted to collide & explode in 2022

A team of astronomers have predicted that two stars in the constellation Cygnus will collide in 2022, creating a so bright explosion that it will be visible to the naked eye in the night sky.

Calvin College’s Prof. Larry Molnar and his team said that stars in a binary star system, called KIC 9832227, are currently orbiting each other while also on the way to collide and merge.

The two stars are in question share a common atmosphere, like two peanuts share a single shell. Their collision and the resulting explosion will create an extra-bright star, called red nova.

The prediction is based on two strong tests and Molnar’s hypothesis from 2015 is holding up. They have refined the predicted time of the two star’s collision to 2022, plus or minus 1 year.

Molnar said in a statement, “Our merging star hypothesis should be taken seriously right now and we should be using the next few years to study this intensely … It will be a very dramatic change in the sky, as anyone can see it. You won't need a telescope to tell me in 2023 whether I was wrong or I was right.”

The research was recently presented at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Grapevine, Texas.