Definition of nova
Origin of nova
OTHER WORDS FROM novano·va·like, adjective
Words nearby nova
Other definitions for nova (2 of 2)
MORE ABOUT NOVA
What is a nova?
A nova is a star that temporarily becomes extremely bright and then returns to its original brightness. The plural of nova is novas or novae.
The Sun is a medium-sized star in the middle of its life. When a star the size of our Sun or smaller nears the end of its life, it becomes a white dwarf. A white dwarf is small (for a star) and, because of its size, not very bright. However, a white dwarf is very dense, so it has a strong gravitational pull.
In a binary solar system, there are two stars. Sometimes, a white dwarf star in a binary system will pull hydrogen gas from a bigger, neighboring star. Eventually, it may pull so much hydrogen together that it causes an explosion. This explosion causes the white dwarf to become incredibly bright and become what is called a nova.
A nova is temporary. Typically, a white dwarf only stays really bright for several days before returning to its original state. The white dwarf may again start pulling hydrogen from its neighbor and eventually again turn into a nova. Each cycle could take anywhere from a thousand to hundreds of thousands of years.
Why is nova important?
The first records of the word nova come from around 1680. It comes from the New Latin word novus, meaning “new.” In the past, we thought that a nova was a brand new star.
Now we know that novas are very old stars that are nearing the end of their lives. Why did we think they might be new stars? Because white dwarfs are both small and not very bright, we cannot see them with just our eyes from Earth. However, when it becomes a nova, the white dwarf becomes so bright that we can suddenly see it unaided in our night sky. Past stargazers believed this was a new star being born. As time passed, telescopes helped astronomers discover the existence of white dwarfs and learn what novas really are.
Why is nova important?
What are real-life examples of nova?
Novas are of great interest to astronomers and researchers studying space.
— NASA Goddard Images (@NASAGoddardPix) July 31, 2014
GK Persei is a "classical nova" — an outburst produced by a thermonuclear explosion on the surface of a white dwarf star. (A supernova signals the destruction of an entire star.) This nova briefly appeared as one of the brightest stars in the sky in 1901! https://t.co/4J9UOBZKjh pic.twitter.com/PyXOzLkFVk
— Chandra Observatory (@chandraxray) March 13, 2018
What other words are related to nova?
True or False?
A nova is a new star that is created when hydrogen gathers together into a big cloud of bright gas.
How to use nova in a sentence
Bossa nova, which means roughly “new trend,” was based on Brazil’s traditional samba music, but with a slower, more gentle rhythm and delicate, sinuous melodies.
Bossa nova soon became a nationwide sensation, with countless performers capitalizing on the trend.
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia—It's amazing what some fresh Nova Scotia air can do.
Today, at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador—in the steamy northeastern coast of Brazil—we saw the Dutch Reconquista.Dutch Treat: The Netherlands Sinks Spain In World Cup 2014|Tunku Varadarajan|June 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The couple will visit Pictou County for an event to celebrate Celtic heritage in Nova Scotia.
He wanted to be a big nova that would eclipse everything.... That was the only thing that would satisfy Andy.
He wanted to be a big nova that would eclipse everything. . . . That was the only thing that would satisfy Andy.
Quid sit Nova Francia, qualis regio, qui in e populi, quique mores.
On that fatal day in August on which war broke out we were in Nova Scotia.
The citizens of Halifax, Nova Scotia, celebrated the 108th anniversary of the settlement of that place.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology|Joel Munsell
A large number of loyalists were now leaving the States and settling in Nova Scotia.History of Prince Edward Island|Duncan Campbell
They call the potatoes ‘Bluenoses’ just as they call the Nova Scotia folks.Dorothy's Travels|Evelyn Raymond