A remarkable recurrent nova in M 31 : the optical observations

Darnley, M. J. and Williams, S. C. and Bode, M. F. and Henze, M. and Ness, J.-u. and Shafter, A. W. and Hornoch, K. and Votruba, V. (2014) A remarkable recurrent nova in M 31 : the optical observations. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 563: L9. ISSN 0004-6361

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Context. In late Nov. 2013 the fifth eruption in five years of the M 31 recurrent nova M 31N 2008-12a was announced. Aims: In this Letter we address the optical lightcurve and progenitor system of M 31N 2008-12a. Methods: Optical imaging data of the 2013 eruption from the Liverpool Telescope, La Palma; Danish 1.54 m Telescope, La Silla; and archival Hubble Space Telescope near-IR, optical, and near-UV data are astrometrically and photometrically analysed. Results: Photometry of the 2013 eruption, combined with three previous eruptions, enabled construction of a template lightcurve of a very fast nova (t2(V)≃4 days). The archival data allowed recovery of the progenitor system in optical and near-UV data, indicating a red-giant secondary with bright accretion disk, or alternatively a system with a sub-giant secondary but dominated by a disk. Conclusions: The eruptions of M 31N 2008-12a, and a number of historic X-ray detections, indicate a unique system with a recurrence timescale of ~1 yr. This implies the presence of a very high-mass white dwarf and a high accretion rate. The recovered progenitor system is consistent with such an elevated rate of accretion. We encourage additional observations, especially towards the end of 2014.

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Journal Article
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Astronomy and Astrophysics
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27 Jan 2016 09:10
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:38