- a star that suddenly becomes thousands of times brighter and then gradually fades to its original intensity.
Origin of nova
Examples from the Web for novae
Then the world was filled with novae and comets as the extinguisher struck.Noble Redman
Jesse Franklin Bone
A fine flock of wild geese (Cereopsis novae hollandiae) was seen, but they were too wary to allow of close approach.Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade Archipelago, Etc. To Which Is Added The Account Of Mr. E.B. Kennedy's Expedition For The Exploration Of The Cape York Peninsula. By John Macgillivray, F.R.G.S. Naturalist To The Expedition. In Two Volumes. Volume 1.
Roth (unpublished data, 1957) found that the secretion of P. novae seelandiae when ejected is grayish or milky in color.The Biotic Associations of Cockroaches
Louis M. Roth
Scabiosa (forte) Novae Hollandiae, statices foliis subtus argenteis.A Voyage to New Holland
As one of our Latinists remarked, "It looks as if we should have novae res outside and novae tabulae inside."
- a variable star that undergoes a cataclysmic eruption, observed as a sudden large increase in brightness with a subsequent decline over months or years; it is a close binary system with one component a white dwarfCompare supernova
Word Origin and History for novae
1877, from Latin nova, fem. singular adjective of novus "new" (see new), used with stella "star" (a feminine noun in Latin) to describe a new star not previously known. Classical plural is novae.
- A white dwarf star that suddenly and temporarily becomes extremely bright as a result of the explosion at its surface of material accreted from an expanding companion star. The material, mostly hydrogen and helium, is attracted by the white dwarf's gravity and accumulates under growing pressure and heat until nuclear fusion is ignited. Unlike a supernova, a nova is not blown apart by the explosion and gradually returns to its original brightness over a period of weeks to years. Because of their sudden appearance where no star had been previously visible, novae were long thought to be new stars. Since 1925, novae have been classified as variable stars. Compare supernova.