supernova n.

to go supernova (of a star) to become a supernova; (more generally, of a star, planet, etc.) to explode (also used figuratively)

  • 1942 J. W. Campbell Supernova Centaurus in Astounding Science-Fiction Feb. 6/2 page image John W. Campbell, Jr. bibliography

    We’ve considered what might happen if Sol itself went nova. If it should go supernova, no worse could happen; Earth and all life on it would be fused and volatilized in either case.

  • 1965 L. Niven in Galaxy Mag. June 189/1 Larry Niven

    It could have left the Main Sequence by going supernova or by suddenly expanding into a red giant, but if it had there wouldn’t be any inner planets.

  • 1966 P. Anderson Sun Invisible in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact Apr. 130/1 Poul Anderson bibliography

    Giant stars burn hydrogen so fast their existence is measured in millions of years. Millions, you hear, not billions. Beta Centauri can hardly be ten million years old. More than half its stable lifetime is past. It’ll go supernova and become a white dwarf. Life’d have no chance to evolve before the planets were destroyed.

  • 1974 L. Niven & J. Pournelle Mote in God's Eye (1976) 278 Larry Niven Jerry Pournelle bibliography

    For astrophysics, perhaps verra important, Captain. They hae been watching yon supergiant for aye their history as it passed across the Coal Sack. ‘Twill go supernova and then become a black hole—and the Moties say they know when.

  • 1977 D. Moffitt Jupiter Theft 254 Donald Moffitt

    One of their suns was going to go supernova. And they had half a million years to get ready for it.

  • 1995 R. Zelazny Three Descents of Jeremy Baker in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction July 127 Roger Zelazny

    We were once a race of material beings but we were sufficiently evolved that when we saw our sun was going to go supernova we elected to transform ourselves into this state and study it rather than flee.

  • 2006 Apex Science Fiction & Horror Digest Summer 72

    Even though his head was going supernova, Hardin grinned.


Research requirements

antedating 1942

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a 1965 cite from Larry Niven's "One Face". Mike Christie submitted a 1942 cite from an editorial by John Campbell in Astounding. Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1976 reprint of Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's 1974 "The Mote in God's Eye". Mike Christie submitted a 1995 cite from Roger Zelazny's "The Three Descents of Jeremy Baker". Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a reprint of Poul Anderson's "A Sun Invisible"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1966 first magazine appearance. Ralf Brown located and Fred Galvin verified a 1977 cite from Donald Moffitt's "The Jupiter Theft". Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1992 reprint of Mike Resnick's 1981 "The Soul Eater".

Last modified 2021-01-11 23:53:06
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.