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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





3 articles for "Nova"

Nova [Astro*Index]

(Plural is Novae.)

Literally, a new star. The term refers to an exploding star, which can become 100,000 times (12-13 magnitudes) brighter in a few days. This happens when a star throws off a portion of its outer shell or envelope; after this happens, the star usually returns to normal. On the average, 25 such eruptions per year occur in a spiral galaxy such as our own (the Milky Way). But, only 2 or 3 new novae are usually discovered in our galaxy each year.

See also:
♦ Dwarf Nova ♦ Recurrent Nova ♦ Super Nova
Nova [Munkasey M.]

(Plural: Novae.)

A star which greatly increases its lightor radiation output, usually due to an internal explosion of great proportions.

See also:
♦ Dwarf Nova ♦ Recurrent Nova ♦ Super Nova
Nova [DeVore]

Literally, a new star.

Actually a nova is an old star which from an unknown cause appears to have exploded with cataclysmic violence. The first nova of record appeared suddenly on November 11, 1572, in the Constellation Cassiopeia, in the third decanate of Pisces -- known as the decanate of Vicissitudes. It was an ancient belief that from the constellation in which any unusual phenomenon appeared could be judged the department of life that would be most affected. This nova was discovered by Tycho Brahe. On the previous August 24th, the massacre of Bartholomew in Paris with the King's sanction incited the Huguenots to a resort to arms, in the belief that it was a messenger of hope sent from heaven. They made a successful defense of La Rochelle, and in consequence were granted a measure of tolerance. Two years later Henry of Navarre escaped from Paris to become their leader, and thus began a new life for them.

Nova Hercules 1934 was the 79th nova since the one discovered by Tycho Brahe, few of which have been spectacular. The three notable novae during the present century were:

February 1901, in Perseus, in the third or Propaganda decanate of Aries. It was the year of the Pan-American Exposition, in Buffalo, in which Northern Pacific stock touched 1000.

June 1918, in Aquila, in the second or Exploration decanate of Sagittarius. It was the year in which an American Expeditionary Force on foreign soil turned the tide of World War I.

December 1934, in Hercules, in Experience decanate of Virgo, the sign ruling labor, and connotated with the Twelve Labors of Hercules. It increased in brilliance from fourteenth magnitude on November 14th, to first magnitude on December 22nd.


See also:
♦ Dwarf Nova ♦ Recurrent Nova ♦ Super Nova


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine