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A supernova explosion

Beta Niobe goes nova in 2269

For the beverage, please see Supernova (beverage).

A supernova, occasionally shortened to nova, was rare and powerful explosions that typically occurred upon the death of a massive star. They had a burst radius, and burned out supernovae resulted in supernova remnants and concussion rings.

Although terminology has been inconsistent, supernovae are not to be confused with novae, which are a different phenomenon.

Supernovae were known to create subspace shock waves capable of collapsing a warp field, and an electromagnetic pulse capable of knocking out computers in the system. (VOY: "The Q and the Grey"; TNG: "11001001") They also produced severe theta radiation. (VOY: "The Omega Directive")

A star went supernova once every second in the universe. Within the Milky Way Galaxy, supernovae generally occurred approximately once per century. Up until 2373, only two Starfleet crews had ever witnessed supernovae firsthand. That year, a third observation was made by USS Voyager, setting the record for the closest observation at less than ten billion kilometers. (DIS: "Perpetual Infinity"; VOY: "The Q and the Grey")

In the negative universe, a supernova was a dead star coming to life. (TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident")


A supernova which occurred six hundred thousand years prior, during the Age of Makto, was responsible for the fall of the Tkon Empire. (TNG: "The Last Outpost")

Phi Puma went supernova some time before 2165. (TNG: "The Naked Now", display graphic)

Young Michael Burnham studies up on supernovas, 2236

In 2236, Alpha Lupi went supernova. As part of the Daedalus Project, Section 31 stationed Mike and Gabrielle Burnham at the nearby outpost Doctari Alpha so they could harness the energy for experiments with the red angel suit. They were believed killed in a Klingon terror raid, and for years after, their daughter believed that she had caused her parents' death by convincing them to remain to witness the supernova rather than go on vacation to Mars. (DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?", "The Red Angel", "Perpetual Infinity")

In 2267, Sulu, after being given a tranquilizer that removed his fear, claimed that "with a armful of this stuff, I wouldn't be afraid of a supernova." (TOS: "Wolf in the Fold")

In 2269, Beta Niobe went supernova, resulting in the destruction of planet Sarpeidon. Its inhabitants had been aware that this was going to happen for a long time, and had evacuated. The Enterprise's crew, having calculated the time of the event in advance, observed the supernova. (TOS: "All Our Yesterdays")

Beta Niobe was only specified to be a supernova in "The Counter-Clock Incident", where it appears as a structure similar to a supernova remnant. In "All Our Yesterdays", it was described simply as a nova, a term Trek has often used a synonym for supernova, but which is also a phenomenon in itself.

In 2364, a star in the Beta Magellan system exploded releasing a supernova and a subspace shock wave. The shock wave released an electromagnetic pulse, resulting in main computer failure on Bynaus. The Bynars stole USS Enterprise-D with Captain Picard and Commander Riker still on board. Picard and Riker managed to get the system rebooted and returned the Enterprise to Starbase 74. (TNG: "11001001")

Beta Stromgren goes supernova

In 2366, the star Beta Stromgren exploded as a supernova. The last stages of the star's life were observed by the Enterprise-D while making first contact with the spaceborne creature Gomtuu, which, also aware of the impending event, had come there to die. (TNG: "Tin Man")

In 2370, Jadzia Dax warned Gideon Seyetik that his plan to use protomatter to re-ignite the dead star Epsilon 119 might inadvertently unleash a supernova instead. Seyetik brushed this off, quipping that "nothing of any worth was ever created by a pessimist." The star was re-ignited successfully. (DS9: "Second Sight")

In 2373, the Q Civil War caused hazardous repercussions throughout the Milky Way Galaxy, including "galactic crossfire" in the form of supernovae. At least three supernovae went off within three days in a single sector of the Delta Quadrant. It was explained to Chakotay, by a female Q, that "each time [one of these stars] implodes, a negative density false vacuum is created, which actually sucks the surrounding matter into the Continuum." The crew of Voyager, acting on information provided by the female Q, used the explosion of one of these supernovae to enter the Continuum themselves in order to rescue Q and Captain Janeway. (VOY: "The Q and the Grey")

Several weeks later, in the Alpha Quadrant, a Changeling posing as Doctor Julian Bashir attempted to trigger a supernova in the Bajoran sun using trilithium, tekasite, and protomatter. The Founder was stopped by Kira Nerys, Jadzia Dax, and the crew of the USS Defiant. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")

When Janeway requested arithrazine from The Doctor in 2374, he asked her if she was planning to "stroll through a supernova." (VOY: "The Omega Directive")

On First Contact Day in 2385, Mrs. K taught her stellar cartography class at WSA about supernovae. (ST: "Children of Mars")

The Romulan supernova

In 2387, the Romulan sun threatened to go supernova, endangering the galaxy. Ambassador Spock prepared an attempt to stop the supernova by using red matter to create a black hole, which he hoped would consume the supernova. Before he could enact this plan, however, the star exploded and destroyed Romulus. Spock still used the red matter to stop the supernova after Romulus was gone, but this led to the creation of the alternate reality. In 2258 of the alternate reality, Spock used a mind meld to demonstrate the supernova event to the alternate James T. Kirk. (Star Trek, PIC: "Remembrance")

The Star Trek: Picard press kit [1] states that Admiral Picard was ordered to leave the Enterprise in 2381 to assist the Romulan people "during their time of great crisis". This might indicate that the impending supernova had been known at least since then.
In Star Trek: Countdown, the official comic book prequel to Star Trek, and in Star Trek Online, the star which went supernova and destroyed Romulus was not the Romulan sun but rather a neighboring star called Hobus. It was explained that the Hobus supernova was unlike any previously seen: as the supernova grew, it converted mass into energy, which increased its power and allowed it to expand. As a result, its threat reached beyond the Hobus system and potentially the entire galaxy. STO further revealed that the nova was caused by an Iconian weapon employed by subverted elements of the Tal Shiar, led by Taris and Hakeev (β). This account was eventually superseded by canon: "Remembrance" establishes that it was the Romulan sun which exploded.
In the shooting script of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the film would have begun in deep space. The camera would focus in on a white star in a star system "…suddenly changing, brightening, flaring unbelievable intensity: supernova." After pausing briefly as witness to this celestial event, the camera would move on, searching for V'ger. [2]

Supernova classes

See also

External link