Astrophysics (index)about


(white dwarf explosion)

A nova is a white dwarf explosion less energetic than a supernova. It is a thermonuclear explosion (CNO cycle) of surrounding compressed hydrogen accreted from a binary companion. Novae appear as brighter stars that gradually lose their brightness, losing 2 magnitudes in 25 to 80 days (for faster to slower novae). Novae are regularly tracked in Andromeda as well as the Milky Way.

The term classical nova (CN) is sometimes used to help distinguish it from supernovae and is sometimes used specifically to mean a one-time nova rather than a recurrent nova, i.e., a star that undergoes repeated novae.

An X-ray nova is a transient ascribed to material falling into a black hole or neutron star, material from a companion star or perhaps a whole star.

(stars,event type,transient type)

Referenced by:
binary star
calcium-rich gap transient
cosmic dust
cataclysmic variable star (CV)
dwarf nova
helium runaway
MACHO Project
supernova (SN)
transient astronomy