What do you call a supernova that is not as powerful and doesn't destroy the star?
A babynova? Subnova?
We'll need to think of something, according to Berkeley astronomer Nathan Smith, because that is what happened in 1843 to Eta Carinae, the galaxy's second most studied star.
Eta Carinae (η Car) is a massive, hot, variable star visible only from the Southern Hemisphere, and is located about 7,500 light years from Earth in a young region of star birth called the Carina Nebula. It was observed to brighten immensely in 1843, and astronomers now see the resulting cloud of gas and dust, known as the Homunculus nebula, wafting away from the star. A faint shell of debris from an earlier explosion is also visible, probably dating from around 1,000 years ago.