In the "Science and Nature" category of Trivial Pursuit, Genus 5 edition, one of the questions reads exactly as follows:

What's the largest and brightest class of stars called -- red giants, supernovae, or supergiants?
What would you think the answer would be? Hell, what would any sane person think the answer would be? Even the weakest, palest supernova is thousands (if not millions) of times brighter than the brightest supergiant star imaginable, to say nothing of how much brighter a supernova would be than a plain old non-super red giant.

But what did the back of the card say that the correct answer was?


Not supernovae. Supergiants. The numbskull that wrote this question thinks that supergiants, as a class, are larger and brighter than supernovae.

Okay, I'll concede that supergiants (by which, I assume, they mean Luminosity Class Ia and Ib stars) qualify as the "largest" class of stars. Betelgeuse, f'rinstance, is twice as big around as the orbit of Mars, and it's kinda hard to talk about how "large" something as violently unstable as a supernova is.

And I'll concede that supernovae don't usually fit into what people think of as a "class" of stars, in the sense of Spectral Class OBAFGKM or Luminosity Class Ia-VI.

But if any yahoo tries to tell me that a supergiant -- any supergiant -- is brighter than a supernova, he's gonna be in for quite a stern belly laugh!