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A 9 Month Hubble Space Telescope Near-UV Survey of M87. I. Light and Color Curves of 94 Novae, and a Redetermination of the Nova Rate*

Shara, MM, Lessing, AM, Hounsell, R, Mandel, S, Zurek, D, Darnley, MJ, Graur, O, Hillman, Y, Meyer, ET, Mikolajewska, J, Neill, JD, Prialnik, D and Sparks, W (2023) A 9 Month Hubble Space Telescope Near-UV Survey of M87. I. Light and Color Curves of 94 Novae, and a Redetermination of the Nova Rate*. The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 269 (42). ISSN 1538-4365

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M87 has been monitored with a cadence of 5 days over a span of 9 months through the near-ultraviolet (NUV; F275W) and optical (F606W) filters of the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) of the Hubble Space Telescope. This unprecedented dataset yields the NUV and optical light and color curves of 94 M87 novae, characterizing the outburst and decline properties of the largest extragalactic nova dataset in the literature (after M31 and M81). We test and confirm nova modelers' prediction that recurrent novae cannot erupt more frequently than once every 45 days, show that there are zero rapidly recurring novae in the central ∼1/3 of M87 with recurrence times <130 days, demonstrate that novae closely follow the K-band light of M87 to within a few arcsecs of the galaxy nucleus, show that nova NUV light curves are as heterogeneous as their optical counterparts, and usually peak 5–30 days after visible light maximum, determine our observations' annual detection completeness to be 71%–77%, and measure the rate Rnova of nova eruptions in M87 as 352−37+37 yr−1. The corresponding luminosity-specific classical nova rate for this galaxy is 7.91−1.20+1.20/yr/1010L⊙,K. These rates confirm that ground-based observations of extragalactic novae miss most faint, fast novae and those near the centers of galaxies. An annual M87 nova rate of 300 or more seems inescapable. A luminosity-specific nova rate of ∼7–10/yr/1010L⊙,K in all types of galaxies is indicated by the data available in 2023.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: astro-ph.SR; astro-ph.SR; astro-ph.GA; astro-ph.HE
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: American Astronomical Society
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2023 09:53
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2023 12:00
DOI or ID number: 10.3847/1538-4365/ad02fd
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/21763
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