No"va (nO"va), n.; pl. L. Novæ (-vE), E. Novas (-vaz). [L., fem. sing. of novus new.] (Astron.)
A new star, usually appearing suddenly, shining for a brief period, and then sinking into obscurity. Such appearances are supposed to result from cosmic collisions, as of a dark star with interstellar nebulosities. The most important modern novæ are: --
No"va Co*ro"næ Bo`re*a"lis (&?;) ; No"va Cyg"ni (&?;) ; No"va An*dro"me*dæ (&?;) ; No"va Au*ri"gæ (&?;) [1891-92]; No"va Per"se*i (&?;) . There are two novæ called Nova Persei. They are:
(a) A small nova which appeared in 1881.
(b) An extraordinary nova which appeared in Perseus in 1901. It was first sighted on February 22, and for one night (February 23) was the brightest star in the sky. By July it had almost disappeared, after which faint surrounding nebulous masses were discovered, apparently moving radially outward from the star at incredible velocity.
© Webster 1913