Nature, Science & Tech — 26 February 2017

The light from a 1800 year old star collision will arrive to be seen from Earth in 2022, writes Sarah Knapton in The Telegraph, UK. Published on January 7, 2016.

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star-gazer

In 2022, the newly formed Red Nova will burn so brightly in the constellation Cygnus that everyone will be able to to see it. Credit: Babak Tafreshi/Science Photo Library

At the beginning of the 3rd century civil war raged in Britain as the Roman emperor Septimius Severus sought to quell unrest in the north.

But unknown to the fighting cohorts and Caledonian tribes, high above their heads two stars were coming together in a huge cataclysmic explosion.

cygnus

The star will appear in the constellation Cygnus, aka the Northern Cross

Now 1800 years later the light from that collision will finally arrive on Earth creating a new star in the night sky – dubbed the ‘Boom Star’ – in an incredibly rare event which is usually only spotted through telescopes.

Before their meeting the two stars were too dim to be seen by the naked eye, but in 2022, the newly formed Red Nova will burn so brightly in the constellation Cygnus that everyone will be able to to see it.

“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’,” said Dr Matt Walhout, dean for research and scholarship at Calvin College, Michigan, where the prediction was made.

For ca. six months the Boom Star will be one of the brightest in the sky before gradually dimming, returning to normal brightness after 2-3  years.

It is the first time scientists have ever predicted the birth of a new star and astronomers in Britain said it would be a fascinating and important event which is likely to trigger a race to be the first to record the phenomenon.


Read the full article here

telegraph.co.uk

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