Pronunciation: (sOO"pur-nō'vu), [key]
—pl. -vas, -vaePronunciation: (-vē). [key] Astron.
1. the explosion of a star, possibly caused by gravitational collapse, during which the star's luminosity increases by as much as 20 magnitudes and most of the star's mass is blown away at very high velocity, sometimes leaving behind an extremely dense core.
2. the star undergoing such an explosion. Cf. supernova remnant, black hole, neutron star, nova.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.