Simple Definition of supernova
astronomy : the explosion of a star that causes the star to become extremely bright
Full Definition of supernova
1 : the explosion of a star in which the star may reach a maximum intrinsic luminosity one billion times that of the sun
2 : one that explodes into prominence or popularity; also : superstar
Examples of supernova in a sentence
<tragically, a shoulder injury cut short the pitching career of one of baseball's brightest supernovas>
Did You Know?
A nova, despite its name, isn't actually a "new" star, but rather one that wasn't noticed until it exploded, when it may increase in brightness by a million times before returning to its previous state a few days later. A supernova is far larger; a star in its supernova state may emit a billion times as much light as previously. After a few weeks it begins to dim, until it eventually ceases to exist; it's often replaced by a black hole. (Though remains that were shot out into space may survive; those of a great supernova seen in A.D. 1054 are now known as the Crab Nebula.) All this may serve as a warning to those human stars whose fame explodes too rapidly; supernovas of this kind have sometimes vanished by the following year.
Origin and Etymology of supernova
First Known Use: 1926
Seen and Heard
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