Hubble Space Telescope view of V838 Monocerotis. V838 Mon is thought to be an example of a red nova: the result of the merger of two stars. KIC 9832227 was thought to be a red nova percursor, but work by Socia et al. show that the predicted merger in 2022 won’t happen. Image Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI).

In September 2018, SDSU astronomy graduate student Quentin Socia published a new work refuting the previously published prediction of the merger of two stars. Stellar mergers are important, explosive events, and yet very difficult to actually observe. Socia’s work tells us that astronomers must keep searching if they are to find candidate stars whose merger will be observable within our lifetimes.

Read more about Socia’s thoughts on the matter in this Calvin College press release, and in Astronomy Magazine.