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The Remarkable Spin-down and Ultra-fast Outflows of the Highly-Pulsed Supersoft Source of Nova Hercules 2021

Drake, JJ, Ness, J-U, Page, KL, Luna, GJM, Beardmore, AP, Orio, M, Osborne, JP, Mroz, P, Starrfield, S, Banerjee, DPK, Balman, S, Darnley, MJ, Bhargava, Y, Dewangan, GC and Singh, KP The Remarkable Spin-down and Ultra-fast Outflows of the Highly-Pulsed Supersoft Source of Nova Hercules 2021. Astrophysical Journal Letters. ISSN 2041-8205 (Accepted)

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Nova Her 2021 (V1674 Her), which erupted on 2021 June 12, reached naked-eye brightness and has been detected from radio to $\gamma$-rays. An extremely fast optical decline of 2 magnitudes in 1.2 days and strong Ne lines imply a high-mass white dwarf. The optical pre-outburst detection of a 501.42s oscillation suggests a magnetic white dwarf. This is the first time that an oscillation of this magnitude has been detected in a classical nova prior to outburst. We report X-ray outburst observations from {\it Swift} and {\it Chandra} which uniquely show: (1) a very strong modulation of super-soft X-rays at a different period from reported optical periods; (2) strong pulse profile variations and the possible presence of period variations of the order of 0.1-0.3s; and (3) rich grating spectra that vary with modulation phase and show P Cygni-type emission lines with two dominant blue-shifted absorption components at $\sim 3000$ and 9000 km s$^{-1}$ indicating expansion velocities up to 11000 km s$^{-1}$. X-ray oscillations most likely arise from inhomogeneous photospheric emission related to the magnetic field. Period differences between reported pre- and post-outburst optical observations, if not due to other period drift mechanisms, suggest a large ejected mass for such a fast nova, in the range $2\times 10^{-5}$-$2\times 10^{-4} M_\odot$. A difference between the period found in the {\it Chandra} data and a reported contemporaneous post-outburst optical period, as well as the presence of period drifts, could be due to weakly non-rigid photospheric rotation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: astro-ph.HE; astro-ph.HE; astro-ph.SR
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: American Astronomical Society; IOP Publishing
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2021 10:14
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2021 10:15
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15710

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