Spitzer observations of the new luminous red nova M85 OT2006-1.
RAU A., KULKARNI S.R., OFEK E.O. and YAN L.
Abstract (from CDS):
M85 OT2006-1 is the latest and most brilliant addition to the small group of known luminous red novae (LRNe). An identifying characteristic of the previously detected events (M31 RV, V4332 Sgr, and V838 Mon) was a spectral redward evolution connected with an emerging infrared component following the optical decay. Here we report on the discovery of a similar feature in Keck NIRC and Spitzer photometry of M85 OT2006-1 6 months posteruption. We find that its 2.1-22 µm spectral energy distribution is best described by a blackbody with effective temperature Teff=950±150 K and bolometric luminosity L=2.9+0.4–0.5x105L☉. Assuming spherical geometry, the blackbody effective radius, R=2.0+0.6–0.4x104R☉, and corresponding expansion velocity, v=870+260–180 km/s, are remarkably similar to the properties of M31 RV 70 days after its eruption. Furthermore, we propose a search strategy for LRNe in the local universe making use of the longevity of their infrared excess emission and discuss the expected number of events in the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey.