If astronomer Larry Molnar is right, sometime around 2022 a spectacular explosion that occurred 1,800 years ago will burn bright as a new star in the constellation Cygnus, the world's first nova forecast.
Molnar, with Michigan's Calvin College, and his team have been monitoring a binary star system, called KIC9832227, which currently can only be seen with telescopes. The stars already are so close together, roughly three times the distance of Earth to the sun, that they basically share an atmosphere.
Based on the increasingly faster rate that the stars are spinning around each other, astronomers predict they are moving even closer together. Computer models show that the KIC9832227 pair will merge and explode in another five years or so, generating a bright and rare red nova that will be easily visible in Earth's night-time skies.
Actually, since KIC9832227 is located 1,800 light-years away, the crash already has happened, with light from the explosion racing outward at 186,000 miles per second every since, if Molnar's unprecedented prediction is right.