When I was eight, I realized Trek science had little to do with the real world variety.
So did I, but I meant what I said within the context of already flaky "Trek science." What we got in Abrams' film was about on par with the worst aspects of original Battlestar Galactica
Star Trek Online: The Needs of the Many
To get mildly technobabble'ish, as has been suggested before numerous times, it's possible that the Hobus star had unique subspace properties (or such) that made it going supernova a greater threat than a normal star undergoing the same process. Then again, the supernova may have been caused artificially, which could also explain the increased danger. That might also explain why Spock's calculations were off.
: A scientist explains the Hobus supernova wake travelled through subspace, damaging some systems within a 500ly sphere, destroying Romulus and Remus
To me, this sort of ST technobabble sounds reasonable.
And that would
be perfectly reasonable to me... too bad it wasn't actually used in the movie.
In fact, prior Star Trek movies have already given us precedent for cosmic explosions having effects that propagated FTL. First was the Praxis explosion affecting the Excelsior in The Undiscovered Country; I profoundly doubt the ship was passing through the Qo'noS system itself at the time.
Which is why they used the term "subspace shockwave" in the film. That one tiny little bit of technobabble sufficiently handwaves away scientific impossibility of what we saw on screen. Star Trek 2009
could have used that term, or the writers could've come up with something similar. After all, they cribbed stuff from almost everywhere else in the franchise. But even that small effort wasn't made, and instead we get "lightning storms in space" and a "supernova that threatens the whole galaxy."
It's not that I wanted the movie to make an in-depth scientific explanation of what was happening, but just one or two words to let the viewers were making up future science instead of just being idiotic. Subspace shockwave, people. Spatial anomaly. Say it with me. It's not that hard.