On Jan. 6, the American Astronomical Society held a press conference during its annual meetings in Grapevine, Texas. There, Calvin College professor of astronomy Larry Molnar shared how the prediction he made in 2015 of a binary star merging, resulting in a red nova in the near future is progressing from theory to reality.
Molnar’s prediction is that a binary star (two stars orbiting each other) he is monitoring will merge and explode in 2022, give or take a year, at which time the star will increase its brightness 10,000 fold, becoming one of the brighter stars in the heavens for a time. The star will be visible as part of the constellation Cygnus and will add a star to the recognizable Northern Cross star pattern.
Within hours of Molnar’s press conference, media from around the world had taken notice of the remarkable prediction. The news found its way through the scientific community through publications like Sky & Telescope, Astronomy Magazine and Popular Science, but also more mainstream outlets like National Geographic, The Washington Post, Forbes and USA Today. The news also quickly spread overseas, being picked up by The Telegraph (UK), RT (Russia) and The Indian Express (India).