Exciting! A contact binary is spinning faster and faster as the two stars are approaching a merger. The actual merge is predicted for 2022 +/- a couple of years. If the prediction is correct, we’ll probably get more accurate estimates as we get closer to the event. The binary star system likely will brighten from about 12th magnitude currently (too dim to be seen by eye) to an easily-visible star in Cygnus.
Update: I just noticed that my grad school friend Chip Kobulnicky is one of the collaborators on this project. Cool!
Originally shared by EarthSky
Star predicted to explode in 2022 http://bit.ly/2i06CyL
When and if 2 stars in the KIC 9832227 binary system merge – as predicted – they’ll increase in brightness 10 thousandfold, temporarily becoming a bright star in Earth’s sky.