Astronomers are predicting that a two binary stars that orbit so close together that they share an atmosphere will merge and explode as a bright red nova in approximately five years.
According to the actual paper [pdf], they also predict that this will be a naked eye event, visible in the northern hemisphere.
Note that a red nova is not a supernova. These are different types of explosions, with the supernova many times more powerful and rare. Nonetheless, the event itself will spectacular, should the prediction be correct.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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