One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A star showing a sudden large increase in brightness and then slowly returning to its original state over a few months.See also supernova
- ‘As matter builds in the space between the stars, the increase in energy can cause matter to be ejected from the system as a nova or supernova.’
- ‘The camera pans across a galaxy of stars and planets, novae, and nebulae twinkling in the blackness.’
- ‘For example, amateurs have always been to the fore in discovering comets and novae, hunting for supernovae, and monitoring events happening on the planets.’
- ‘Environments are filled with planets, black holes, novas, asteroids and wormholes among other objects, and each is rendered with stunning detail.’
- ‘For the same reason, the Star is unlikely to have been a nova, even though Chinese astrologers recorded the appearance of bright novae or ‘guest stars’ in March, 5 BC and April, 4 BC.’
Late 19th century: from Latin, feminine of novus ‘new’ (because such stars were thought to be newly formed).
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