It could be one of the biggest astronomical events in years ― a star explosion so intense it could literally change the night sky.
Astronomers are predicting that binary star system KIC 9832227, located in theCygnus constellation, will merge and explode in a “red nova” event in 2022.
And if it happens as predicted, its brightness will increase by 10,000-fold, making it one of the brightest objects in the night sky and easily visible with the naked eye, according to a Calvin College news release.
“It will be a very dramatic change in the sky, as anyone can see it,” Calvin College astronomer Larry Molnar told National Geographic. “You won’t need a telescope to tell me in 2023 whether I was wrong or I was right.”
And when it’s over, there will be a new star in the Northern Cross formation.
But don’t make firm plans around watching the event. Not only is there no exact date beyond 2022 ― give or take a year ― but no one has ever really made a prediction of this nature before.
“It’s a one-in-a-million chance that you can predict an explosion,” Molnar said in the news release. “It’s never been done before.”