noun \ˈnō-və\
plural novas or no·vae \-(ˌ)vē, -ˌvī\

Definition of NOVA

:  a star that suddenly increases its light output tremendously and then fades away to its former obscurity in a few months or years
no·va·like \-və-ˌlīk\ adjective

Origin of NOVA

New Latin, feminine of Latin novus new
First Known Use: 1927


noun, often capitalized

Definition of NOVA

:  cured and smoked salmon; especially :  salmon that has been cured in a mixture of salt and sugar and smoked at a low temperature

Origin of NOVA

short for Nova Scotia salmon
First Known Use: 1964


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of a class of stars whose luminosity temporarily increases by several thousand up to a million times normal. Most appear to be close binary stars, one of which is a white dwarf star drawing in matter from the other until it becomes unstable, causing an outburst in which the outer layer of material is shed. A nova reaches maximum luminosity within hours after its outburst and may shine intensely for several days or even a few weeks; it then slowly returns to its former level. The process can repeat at intervals ranging from a few dozen to hundreds of thousands of years. Stars that become novas are usually too faint to see with the unaided eye until their sudden increase in luminosity, sometimes great enough to make them readily visible in the night sky. To observers, such objects may appear to be new stars; hence their name (Latin for “new”). See also supernova.


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