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Will KIC 9832227 become a nova by 2023?


In 2017, a team of astronomers predicted (technical paper) that the binary stars KIC 9832227 will spiral in and collide in the year 2022.2, plus or minus 0.6. They predict that the result will be a "luminous red nova", a type of nova produced by star collisions. News reports say it could be the brightest object in the night sky! However, whether we actually see it in the night sky will depend on the time of year.

Greg Egan wrote:

Given that nobody knows exactly when this will happen, the main thing that determines how many people are likely to be able to see it is the declination, 46° N. So anyone in the northern hemisphere will have a good chance ... while for someone like me, at 31° S, the odds aren't great: it will never rise higher than 13° above the northern horizon, for me.

Right ascension is the celestial equivalent of longitude, but without knowing the season in advance (and the error bars on the current prediction are much too large for that) we can't tell if the sun will be too close to the object, drowning it in daylight to the naked eye.

If that happens, I guess the only comfort is that there are still sure to be telescopes able to make observations, maybe including both Hubble and James Webb.

So, will there be a Nova from KIC 9832227?

Resolution is positive if a Nova at the location of KIC 9832227 reaches at least visual magnitude 6 (barely visible) during the calendar year of 2021 or 2022. (So the question is addressing primarily whether it will happen, rather than when.)

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