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M31N 2008-12a - the remarkable recurrent nova in M31: Pan-chromatic observations of the 2015 eruption

Darnley, MJ and Henze, M and Bode, MF and Hachisu, I and Hernanz, M and Hornoch, K and Hounsell, R and Kato, M and Ness, J-U and Osborne, JP and Page, KL and Ribeiro, VARM and Rodriguez-Gil, P and Shafter, AW and Shara, MM and Steele, IA and Williams, SC and Arai, A and Arcavi, I and Barsukova, EA and Boumis, P and Chen, T and Fabrika, S and Figueira, J and Gao, X and Gehrels, N and Godon, P and Goranskij, VP and Harman, DJ and Hartmann, DH and Hosseinzadeh, G and Horst, JC and Itagaki, K and Jose, J and Kabashima, F and Kaur, A and Kawai, N and Kennea, JA and Kiyota, S and Kucakova, H and Lau, KM and Maehara, H and Naito, H and Nakajima, K and Nishiyama, K and O'Brien, TJ and Quimby, R and Sala, G and Sano, Y and Sion, EM and Valeev, AF and Watanabe, F and Watanabe, M and Williams, BF and Xu, Z (2016) M31N 2008-12a - the remarkable recurrent nova in M31: Pan-chromatic observations of the 2015 eruption. Astrophysical Journal, 833 (2). ISSN 0004-637X

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The Andromeda Galaxy recurrent nova M31N 2008-12a had been observed in eruption ten times, including yearly eruptions from 2008-2014. With a measured recurrence period of $P_\mathrm{rec}=351\pm13$ days (we believe the true value to be half of this) and a white dwarf very close to the Chandrasekhar limit, M31N 2008-12a has become the leading pre-explosion supernova type Ia progenitor candidate. Following multi-wavelength follow-up observations of the 2013 and 2014 eruptions, we initiated a campaign to ensure early detection of the predicted 2015 eruption, which triggered ambitious ground and space-based follow-up programs. In this paper we present the 2015 detection; visible to near-infrared photometry and visible spectroscopy; and ultraviolet and X-ray observations from the Swift observatory. The LCOGT 2m (Hawaii) discovered the 2015 eruption, estimated to have commenced at Aug. $28.28\pm0.12$ UT. The 2013-2015 eruptions are remarkably similar at all wavelengths. New early spectroscopic observations reveal short-lived emission from material with velocities $\sim13000$ km s$^{-1}$, possibly collimated outflows. Photometric and spectroscopic observations of the eruption provide strong evidence supporting a red giant donor. An apparently stochastic variability during the early super-soft X-ray phase was comparable in amplitude and duration to past eruptions, but the 2013 and 2015 eruptions show evidence of a brief flux dip during this phase. The multi-eruption Swift/XRT spectra show tentative evidence of high-ionization emission lines above a high-temperature continuum. Following Henze et al. (2015a), the updated recurrence period based on all known eruptions is $P_\mathrm{rec}=174\pm10$ d, and we expect the next eruption of M31N 2008-12a to occur around mid-Sep. 2016.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: astro-ph.SR; astro-ph.SR; astro-ph.HE
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: American Astronomical Society; IOP Publishing
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Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2016 14:58
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2017 15:06
DOI or Identification number: 10.3847/1538-4357/833/2/149
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4126

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