Keyword Analysis & Research: nova

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What is a Nova?

A nova (plural novae or novas) is a transient astronomical event that causes the sudden appearance of a bright, apparently "new" star, that slowly fades over several weeks or many months. Causes of the dramatic appearance of a nova vary, depending on the circumstances of the two progenitor stars.

What is a'stellar Nova'?

Ironically, despite the term "stellar nova" meaning "new star", novae most often take place as a result of white dwarfs: remnants of extremely old stars.

Are novae recurrent?

Astronomers theorize, however, that most, if not all, novae are recurrent, albeit on time scales ranging from 1,000 to 100,000 years. The recurrence interval for a nova is less dependent on the accretion rate of the white dwarf, than on its mass; with their powerful gravity,...

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