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Two stars will collide in 2022 in an event that'll be visible to the naked eye, astronomers predict

By Shawn Knight ยท 33 replies
Jan 10, 2017
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  1. A group of scientists and students led by Calvin College professor Larry Molnar are predicting a massive celestial event that, if accurate, will be visible to the naked eye around 2020, give or take a year.

    Molnar, who presented the prediction during a recent American Astronomical Society meeting in Grapevine, Texas, said he and his colleagues have been following the binary star, KIC 9832227, for several years now.

    As the name suggests, a binary star is actually two stars orbiting each other. In this case, one of them is about 40 percent larger than our sun while the other is a third the size of the sun. It wasn’t until 2013 that scientists realized they were looking at two stars instead of one.

    Further analysis of the stars, which are about 1,800 light-years from Earth, suggests that the two are on an inevitable collision course to create what’s known as a red nova. As National Geographic notes, the event will create an eruption that’s somewhere between the brightness of a cataclysmic supernova and a common classical nova.

    If the collision happens as Molnar and company predict, it would be the first time that anyone has ever predicted such an explosion in advance.

    The resulting light show will be more than 10,000 times brighter than the binary system is right now in the night sky (well, not technically right now as the sky largely serves as a time capsule of events that happened many, many years ago due to the vastness of the universe but I digress).The resulting red nova should be visible to the naked eye – perhaps as bright as Polaris, the north star – in the constellation Cygnus for nearly a full year.

    Again, all of this is assuming that the scientists’ data proves accurate.

    Image courtesy NASA

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,433   +179

    Does this belong here? lol Don't get me wrong, I love space news... but I am here for electronics and to learn about the most exciting new products coming out.

    Also ERMAHGERD, MY NAKED EYES?! But I digress. *nerd*

    Edit: Can we continue doing space news? Rename site to TechSpace!

    Edit 2: DRATS! That's already taken. PSSSH
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,853   +3,070

    SpaceSpot category of EverythingSpot
     
    wiyosaya likes this.
  4. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,997   +1,063

    I swear, most of your articles are just excuses for you to use "I digress" and "respectively"
     
    mbrowne5061, Lurker101, Humza and 5 others like this.
  5. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Guru Posts: 583   +316

    If it's 1800 light years away, then technically, it's already happened - we just haven't gotten the light so that we can see it - yet.
     
  6. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,433   +179

    But, you don't know it's happened until you see it...
    like like like like like like like like like like like like like
     
    p51d007 likes this.
  7. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,433   +179

    SpaceSpot is also already taken. UniverseSpot?

    Nevermind, I'm going to go make a website real quick. ^_^
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  8. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,215   +362

    I would not consider Polaris particularly bright. Given what the article says, I would be surprised if it looks like the Crab Nebula pictured in this article. When that went off in 1066 AD, historical accounts state that it was visible during the day, IIRC. If this thing is as bright as Polaris, then it will not be visible during the day. Also, the Crab Nebula supernova was seen by many people during its day - which means other humans have seen super novae before.

    Well, you could photograph this with your electronic camera. ;)

    Then again, the heading of the category is science, and to me, anyway, this article is better than reading about the latest, but still not secure IoT device.
     
    Trillionsin likes this.
  9. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,016   +2,297

    For once I can agree with you.
     
    p51d007 likes this.
  10. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Guru Posts: 583   +316

    Your agreement wasn't solicited.

    Facts, Physics and Astronomy are all that matter.
     
  11. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,704   +491

    I wonder why the author didn't point that out. Oh right, he did...

    "The resulting light show will be more than 10,000 times brighter than the binary system is right now in the night sky (well, not technically right now as the sky largely serves as a time capsule of events that happened many, many years ago due to the vastness of the universe but I digress)."
     
    wiyosaya and mbrowne5061 like this.
  12. fktech

    fktech TS Addict Posts: 203   +53

    The sky is falling...
     
    jobeard likes this.
  13. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Guru Posts: 583   +316




    WRONG

    the writer did not point out the fact that "light years away" implies that the event happened - and hasn't been viewable yet due to Earth receiving the light information much much later.

    The only thing this person points out is the "apparent magnitude" (Astronomy Term which you probably don't know) or brightness which will be observable here on Earth - by people not US since by the time we can see it here, we'll be dead.

    I love arguing science with those who don't know.

    It's fun!!!

    Reading is fundamental.
     
  14. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,704   +491

    Keep thinking that...
     
  15. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Guru Posts: 583   +316


    I know it hurts to be publicly embarrassed, but just remember to stay quiet next time and not to speak when adults are speaking.
     
  16. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,188   +209

    TechSpotify? TechSpotiSky?
     
    wiyosaya likes this.
  17. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,704   +491

    I'm doing just fine. Worry about yourself.
     
  18. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,853   +3,070

    And you think you are worthy of sitting at the round table? After making that statement you still have a few years to go.
     
  19. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Guru Posts: 583   +316


    Dry your tears, put on your big girl pants, do better next time.
     
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,048   +2,074

    Oh well @cliffordcooley, at least@Bigtruckseries mercifully didn't feel obligated to list all his equipment to make that silly post. In Mr Truck's defense, it was most likely Siri who told him what to say....:oops:

    So I suppose, although this isn't a strictly an "atta boy >insert manufacturer here< you given us a great new tech toy to piss away our hard earned money with" article, they probably used a computer to drive the telescope's equatorial mount, and another to calculate the star trajectories. So, it is computer news / click bait in the proud tradition Shawn has established over the years.

    After all, if you can get 17 responses to a post by people claiming it shouldn't even be here, I'd say that's a proud, "mission accomplished", if there ever was one... (y)

    Moving on to the actual off topic topic, "Polaris" isn't really all that bright. It's very close to 2nd magnitude. Certainly not bright enough to guide any wise men to the Tesla factory, bearing gifts of more possibly nonrefundable deposits, and pine tree air fresheners (*) in case you were actually fortunate enough to get the car.

    (*) Note I say, "pine tree air fresheners", since Frankincense and Myrrh are getting scarce these days. Note also that the situation can only get worse, if President Trump forces the plants needed for those scents, to be grown in the USA...:(:cool:

    Special Note: Polaris doesn't even appear on a listing of "The 25 Brightest Stars" http://www.astro.wisc.edu/~dolan/constellations/extra/brightest.html
     
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,048   +2,074

    Fixed!
     
    JamesSWD and Bigtruckseries like this.
  22. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Guru Posts: 583   +316



    To be perfectly honest, the bigger issue is the comment system which totally messes up my replies and comments. It's a pain just to type one - have to copy it and hope it goes through - and then paste it again if it doesn't.

    #2 The info I stated I knew off the top of my head. Siri isn't useful to me most of the time. I understand exactly what "light time" and "deep time" are.

    I understand exactly what parallax, time dilation and light speed's implications are when talking about celestial events.

    The problem is: many of today's youth - getting useless liberal arts degrees and avoiding hard math / science don't.

    The reality is I work in a science field (which I will purposefully leave vague) and I hold two MS degrees (Physics/Geology) , 1 BS and am currently getting a 3rd MS. I don't see the need for a Doctorate in the field. I'm paid enough and I don't need/want to teach in college.

    (although I could - since here in NYC, untenured adjunct professors are the rage right now.)

    as for these losers who want to attack any mistake I typo - well they can have fun with that.

    I'm so far beyond caring, I find it a mild annoyance.
     
  23. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 460   +103

    You leave out Sex and we're supposed to take you serious?
     
  24. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,997   +1,063

    Let's be clear here, the speed of light isn't exactly the speed of light. Light moves at "the speed of light" because it's particles have no mass. The speed of light is actually the speed of information and influence. SpaceTime is not uniform. Simply because we can predict that it happened in a certain point 1800 years ago does not mean that it happened everywhere 1800 years. Things do not happen happen in the past, they are always happening at different points in space.

    SpaceTime is a whole lot weirder than most people care to understand.
     
  25. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,853   +3,070

    And as long as we are stuck in Earth's space time, we will never understand whether that is true or false.
     

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