In 2022 you’ll be able to witness for the first time ni history the collision between two stars. Even though this even already occurred in the third century AD, the light from the collision will reach us in 2022, when you’ll be able to see one of the brightest objects in the night sky for a few days.
It seems that for the first time in history, the prediction of an astronomer will become a reality. In 5 years, Earth’s inhabitants will be able to witness the birth of a celestial body after the collision of two stars, according to a recent publication of the University of Calvin, Michigan.
In fact, this event already occurred in the third century AD when two stars, identified as KIC 9832227 collided with each other. However, light produced after the collision will take around 1800 years to reach Earth. That will occur in 2022.
The newly born star will be visible in 2022 in the constellation Cygnus. The luminous impact is predicted to be so strong, that the star can become one of the brightest objects in the night sky for a few days.
Lead author of the research, from the Calvin University professor Larry Molnar, says such forecasts “have never been done before.” Professor Molnar will be the first to predict the collision of stars before their light reaches Earth.
The stars will end their lives in an explosion, known as a supernova, says Professor Molnar.
According to astronomers, supernovas are intense explosions which are triggered at the end of the lifetime of enormous stars, or –as in this case— when two stars merge together.
Even though they can be observed from Earth, from millions of light years away, the events are extremely unpredictable.
“It’s a one-in-a-million chance that you can predict an explosion,’ said Professor Molnar, about his bold prediction. It’s never been done before.”
‘Bottom line is we really think our merging star hypothesis should be taken seriously right now and we should be using the next few years to study this intensely so that if it does blow up, we will know what led to that explosion,’ said Professor Molnar.
Professor Molnar and his team will keep an eye on KIC 9832227 in the next year over the full range of wavelengths: using the Very Large Array, the Infrared Telescope Facility, and the XMM-Newton spacecraft to study the star’s radio, infrared and X-ray emission, respectively, reports the Daily Mail.
“If Larry’s prediction is correct, his project will demonstrate for the first time that astronomers can catch certain binary stars in the act of dying and that they can track the last few years of a stellar death spiral up to the point of final, dramatic explosion,” said Matt Walhout, dean for research and scholarship at Calvin College.
“The project is significant not only because of the scientific results but also because it is likely to capture the imagination of people on the street,’ said Walhout. If the prediction is correct, then for the first time in history, parents will be able to point to a dark spot in the sky and say, Watch, kids, there’s a star hiding in there, but soon it’s going to light up.”
Featured image credit: NASA