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A ‘One In A Million' Star Explosion Is Coming To Light The Sky So Save The Date

A star explosion has long been the stuff of dreams for astronomers and people obsessed with that big, black blanket above our sky.

But it's a dream no more if Larry Molnar — whose space game is so strong — is right about his prediction.

The astronomy professor thinks a red nova will take place some time in 2022. May has been tipped as the month.

However, there's no certainty it will happen. I know it seems vague, but in the world of space science, it's as close to a definite date as it's ever going to get.

The galactic core of our Milky Way galaxy and the International Space Station, taken on the south Pembrokeshire coastline in Wales

REX/Shutterstock

Quite frankly, it's a miracle Molnar has pinpointed this timeframe at all. In a trailer for documentary “LUMINOUS,” he explains,

No one has ever seen a star go in to this kind of explosion. No other situation has come up where any astronomer has ever been able to see this is a star about to blow up.

This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the galaxy cluster MACSJ0717.5+3745. This is one of six being studied by the Hubble Frontier Fields programme, which together have produced the deepest images of gravitational lensing ever made. Due to the huge mass of the cluster it is bending the light of background objects, acting as a magnifying lens. It is one of the most massive galaxy clusters known, and it is also the largest known gravitational lens. Of all of the galaxy clusters known and measured, MACS J0717 lenses the largest area of the sky.

REX/Shutterstock

Later on in the trailer, he adds,

It's only a one in a million chance that you will ever see it when it's actually exploding. If we see the star blow up, we're going to see what happened a thousand years ago, with our modern cameras.

Why is this such a big deal? Other than the fact that no one's ever seen a star explode, if they were to merge, it would release as much energy as the sun will in its entire lifetime.

Several million young stars are vying for attention in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of a raucous stellar breeding ground in 30 Doradus, located in the heart of the Tarantula Nebula. Early astronomers nicknamed the nebula because its glowing filaments resemble spider legs. 30 Doradus is the brightest star-forming region visible in a neighboring galaxy and home to the most massive stars ever seen. The nebula resides 170,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small, satellite galaxy of our Milky Way.

REX/Shutterstock

The professor and a team have been monitoring the star system known as KIC 9832227 since 2013.

In May last year, Molnar said the explosion is likely to take place within the next five years.

A photogenic and favourite target for amateur astronomers, the full beauty of nearby spiral galaxy M83 is unveiled in all of its glory in this Hubble Space Telescope mosaic image. The vibrant magentas and blues reveal the galaxy is ablaze with star formation. The galaxy, also known as the Southern Pinwheel, lies 15 million light-years away in the constellation Hydra. The Hubble photograph captures thousands of star clusters, hundreds of thousands of individual stars, and "ghosts" of dead stars called supernova remnants.

REX/Shutterstock

Now, he's camping out with a telescope in New Mexico, tracking movement in the sky until the event is due to take place.

So, stand by for history to be made.

Yay professor Molnar and YAY SCIENCE!

Tall trees and starry night sky, upward view, Jasper, Alberta, Canada

REX/Shutterstock

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Oliver McAteer

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Brit abroad. Previously worked on Metro.co.uk and Snapchat with the Daily Mail.
Brit abroad. Previously worked on Metro.co.uk and Snapchat with the Daily Mail.

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