【2022年夜空将出现一颗超新星】

【2022年夜空将出现一颗超新星】

若天文学家的预测被证实,2022年,他们正在研究的双星系统中的两颗恒星的轨道将引领他们合并,爆炸,产生一颗一万倍明亮的超新星,前后误差不超过一年。此前,超新星的出现从未被预测过。这颗超新星将被视为天鹅座的一部分。(同时,太阳活动的第25周期在2022年达到峰值,接下来的7年会特别炎热,随后会进入小冰河期)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4091604/Mark-calendars-dazzling-supernova-appear-sky-2022-predict-astronomers.html

Mark your calendars! A dazzling supernova will appear in the sky in 2022, predict astronomers

  • Scientists have studied a binary star system for years and claim it will explode
  • The supernova explosion is 'boldly' predicted for 2022, give or take a year 
  • If they are correct, it will be the first time anyone has predicted a supernova
  • Will be one of brightest star in the night sky when it appears, astronomers say 

Our night sky could be set to include a new star in 2022, if the predictions of a group of astronomers turn out to be correct.

A professor who has been studying a binary star system, two stars orbiting each other, claims they will soon start to merge together.

The stars will end their lives in an explosion, known as a supernova, he says.

This will be will make them ten thousand times brighter than they already are - producing one of the brightest stars visible in our sky.

Our night sky could be set to include a new star in 2022, if the predictions of a group of astronomers turn out to be correct, because of a supernova explosion. Supernovas are intense explosions caused  when two stars merge together. Pictured is an artist's impression

Our night sky could be set to include a new star in 2022, if the predictions of a group of astronomers turn out to be correct, because of a supernova explosion. Supernovas are intense explosions caused when two stars merge together. Pictured is an artist's impression

WHAT IS A SUPERNOVA?

A supernova happens where there is a change in the core of a star.

The first type of supernova is in binary star systems when one of the two stars, a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, steals matter from its companion star.

Eventually, the white dwarf accumulates too much matter, causing the star to explode, resulting in a supernova.

The second type of supernova occurs at the end of a single star’s lifetime.

As the star runs out of nuclear fuel, some of its mass flows into its core.

Eventually, the core is so heavy it can't stand its own gravitational force and the core collapses, resulting in another giant explosion.

Supernovas are intense explosions caused at the end of the lifetime of huge stars, or when two stars merge together.

They can be seen from Earth from millions of light years away, but they are unpredictable.

Historically they have can only been studied if telescopes happened to be pointing in their direction, and by astronomers looking back at archives of the stars' observations, after the event.

Professor Larry Molnar from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, claims to have predicted one in advance, for the first time.

He says the event will take place around 2022, give or take a year.

The star will be visible as part of the constellation Cygnus, and will add a star to the recognisable Northern Cross star pattern.

'It's a one-in-a-million chance that you can predict an explosion,' said Professor Molnar, about his bold prediction. 'It's never been done before.'

When the supernova happens, the star will be visible as part of the constellation Cygnus, and will add a star to the recognisable Northern Cross star pattern (pictured)

Professor Molnar's exploration into the star known as KIC 9832227 began back in 2013.

He was attending an astronomy conference when fellow astronomer Karen Kinemuchi presented her study of the brightness changes of the star, which asked whether the star was one star pulsing, or flashing, or whether it was two stars orbiting each other.

WHEN WILL IT EXPLODE?

The event is expected to take place around 2022, give or take a year.

The star will be visible as part of the constellation Cygnus, and will add a star to the recognisable Northern Cross star pattern.

'It's a one-in-a-million chance that you can predict an explosion,' said Professor Molnar, about his bold prediction. 'It's never been done before.'

A student Daniel Van Noord, Professor Molnar's research assistant, was also at the conference.

He decided to make some observations of the star with the Calvin observatory in order to answer the question.

'He looked at how the colour of the star correlated with brightness and determined it was definitely a binary,' said Professor Molnar.

'In fact, he discovered it was actually a contact binary, in which the two stars share a common atmosphere, like two peanuts sharing a single shell.

'From there Dan determined a precise orbital period from Kinemuchi's Kepler satellite data (just under 11 hours) and was surprised to discover that the period was slightly less than that shown by earlier data' Professor Molnar continued.

After studying the star, the astronomers noticed similarities between its behaviour and that of another star, V1309 Scorpii, that unexpectedly exploded in 2008.

Looking back at the record of the star before its explosion showed a contact binary with an orbital period decreasing at an accelerating rate, which has also been  happening to the new star.

For Professor Molnar, this pattern of orbital change was a 'Rosetta stone' for interpreting the new data.

He first proposed KIC 9832227 may be following in the footsteps of V1309 Scorpii in January 2015.

Since then, he has ruled out other explanations for the change in orbital period.

SN 1994D (bright spot on the lower left), an example of a type Ia supernova, created by binary stars merging, in the NGC 4526 galaxy

SN 1994D (bright spot on the lower left), an example of a type Ia supernova, created by binary stars merging, in the NGC 4526 galaxy

WHY ARE SUPERNOVAS IMPORTANT?

A supernova burns for only a short period of time, but it can tell scientists a lot about the universe.

One kind of supernova has shown scientists that we live in an expanding universe, one that is growing at an ever increasing rate.

Scientists also have determined that supernovas play a key role in distributing elements throughout the universe.

When the star explodes, it shoots elements and debris into space.

Many elements found on Earth are made in the core of stars and these elements travel on to form new stars, planets and everything else in the universe.

'Bottom line is we really think our merging star hypothesis should be taken seriously right now and we should be using the next few years to study this intensely so that if it does blow up we will know what led to that explosion,' said Professor Molnar.

Professor Molnar and colleagues will be observing KIC 9832227 in the next year over the full range of wavelengths: using the Very Large Array, the Infrared Telescope Facility, and the XMM-Newton spacecraft to study the star's radio, infrared and X-ray emission, respectively.

'If Larry's prediction is correct, his project will demonstrate for the first time that astronomers can catch certain binary stars in the act of dying, and that they can track the last few years of a stellar death spiral up to the point of final, dramatic explosion,' said Matt Walhout, dean for research and scholarship at Calvin College.

'The project is significant not only because of the scientific results, but also because it is likely to capture the imagination of people on the street,' said Walhout. 'If the prediction is correct, then 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.'

 

 


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