What happens when two stars collide? Most of us probably aren’t aware of what occurs in the sky when such an amazing astrological event occurs. You probably haven’t seen two gigantic celestial bodies merge into each other. But we’ll all get the chance to see it in about five years.
A team of researchers have been studying a specific star system for the last four years. The star system in question, KIC 9832227, stood out to the astronomers because of two particular stars. These two stars were slowly coming closer together on a collision course.
Using a rather complicated mathematical equation, the astronomers were able to predict when these two glittering stars would meet head-on. Their process was based on findings from a previous star-collision in another system. Using this information, the researchers created a fairly accurate prediction of when the KIC 9832227 stars will crash into one another.
According to the team of astronomers findings, the two stars, which already share an atmosphere, will collide in 2022, plus or minus about 6 months.
But what’s actually going to happen when the stars eventually crash?
Nothing we need to worry about, if you were worried. The KIC 9832227 star system is about 1,800 light years away from our sun. But that doesn’t mean the celestial event won’t be rather exciting.
When the two stars collide, they will merge together to form what is called a “red nova.” This luminous celestial event will reach a magnitude of 2.0, a level of brightness close to how a particularly shiny star would appear in the night sky.
That means, come 2022, the red nova can be seen without the need of a telescope or astronomical device. All you’ll need is your eyes to see the aftermath of the star-crash, even if you’re in a city.
Five years is quite a bit of time to prepare for this rather uncommon celestial event, and you’ll no doubt be reminded as 2022 draws nearer. The exact date will become more clear as the two stars continue on their path towards one another. With that in mind, it never hurts to be knowledgeable on all-thing astronomy, especially when two stars are about to merge into one another, because we may never get another chance to see that in the sky again.
Featured image courtesy of: Sakura First Looks via YouTube