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
Recent Examples of supernova from the Web
The supernova campaign serves as a reminder, whether comforting or terrifying, that humanity exists on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam, as Carl Sagan once wrote.
The detectors were designed and built and rebuilt over 40 years to be able to detect collisions of neutron stars — the superdense remnants of some kinds of supernova explosions.
Neutron stars form when stars between about seven and 20 times the mass of the sun end their lives in supernova explosions.
Combined, the two research teams found over 50 distant supernovae whose light was weaker than expected — a sign that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'supernova'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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: 1932
SUPERNOVA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of supernova for English Language Learners
astronomy : the explosion of a star that causes the star to become extremely bright
Seen and Heard
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