The quality of an object whose luminosity exceeds a certain value.
Fr.: supernova superlumineuse
A → supernova with an → absolute magnitude of about -22 in optical. Examples of these newly discovered SNe include SN 2006gy, SN 2005ap, and SNe 2003ma. The nature of these objects is poorly known. Some of them are powered by the circumstellar interaction, or by the shock breakout from the dense circumstellar medium, as suggested by the presence of narrow emission lines in superluminous → Type II-N supernovae. It is also argued that superluminous SNe could be powered by a large amount of 56Ni which is synthesized as a result of energetic → core-collapse supernovae. Other scenarios include the interaction between shells ejected by the pulsational → pair-instability. See, e.g. Tanaka et al. 2012, MNRAS 422, 2675, arXiv:1202.3610, and references therein.