Just give KIC 9832227 another five years or so, and astronomers might spot the binary star system merging, causing a spectacular explosion that can be seen right here on Earth.
The prediction comes from a group of researchers from Calvin College, Apache Point Observatory, and the University of Wyoming. Larry Molnar of Calvin College, one of the many researchers pursuing the star system, had first predicted the impending merger back in 2015. Earlier last week, Molnar addressed the media to announce that his theory is inching toward turning into reality.
“It’s a one-in-a-million chance that you can predict an explosion. It’s never been done before,” he said.
As per Molnar’s predictions, KIC 9832227’s merger could take place in another five years before leading to the violent explosion. If his numbers are accurate, scientists here on Earth could spot the event sometime around 2022 — give or take a year. When it happens, the researchers say, KIC 9832227 will be one of the brightest stars in the night sky for awhile. Just make sure that you look toward the Northern Cross in the direction of the Cygnus constellation.
Meanwhile, the research team will be spending the next few years further studying the binary star system to ensure that they can learn as much as possible with regard to the exact conditions that could lead up to the merger and the subsequent explosion. In order to make their pursuit foolproof, they will be examining a range of wavelengths that will entail the use of the Infrared Telescope Facility, the Very Large Array, and the XMM-Newton spacecraft.
Even more interesting is the fact that anyone, including amateur astronomers, and astronomy enthusiasts can partake in anticipating KIC 9832227’s explosion by observing the star system’s orbital timing and brightness variations, the researchers said.