Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 477, 67-78 (2008/1-1)
A systematic search for novae in M31 on a large set of digitized archival Schmidt plates.
HENZE M., MEUSINGER H. and PIETSCH W.
Abstract (from CDS):
This paper reports on the detection of optical novae in our neighbour galaxy M31 based on digitized historical Tautenburg Schmidt plates. The accurate positions of the detected novae lead to a much larger database when searching for recurrent novae in M31. We conducted a systematic search for novae on 306 digitized Tautenburg Schmidt plates covering a time span of 36 years from 1960 to 1996. From the database of both ∼3x105 light curves and >106 detections on only one plate per colour band, nova candidates were efficiently selected by automated algorithms and subsequently individually inspected by eye. We report the detection of 84 nova candidates. We found 55 nova candidates from the automated analysis of the light curves. Among these, 22 were previously unknown, 12 were known but not identified on Tautenburg Schmidt plates before, and 21 novae had been discovered previously on Tautenburg plates. An additional 29 known novae could be confirmed by the detailed investigation of single detections. One of our newly discovered nova candidates shows a high position coincidence with a nova detected about 30 years earlier. Therefore, this object is likely to be a recurrent nova. Furthermore, we re-investigated all 41 nova candidates previously found on Tautenburg plates and confirm all but two. Positions are given for all nova candidates with a typical accuracy of ∼0.4". We present light curves and finding charts as online material. The analysis of the plates has shown the wealth of information still buried in old plate archives. Extrapolating from this survey, digitization of other historical M31 plate archives (e.g. from the Mount Wilson or Asiago observatories) for a systematic nova search looks very promising.
galaxies: individual: M31 - novae, cataclysmic variables - catalogs
VizieR on-line data:
<Available at CDS (J/A+A/477/67): table6.dat table7.dat table8.dat table9.dat notes.dat lcurves.dat>
Tables 6-9, col(5): M31N YYYY-MMa N=6 added.
Status at CDS:
All or part of tables of objects could be ingested in SIMBAD with priority 2.
Tables 6-9, col(1): numbering NN (Nos 1-84) is not used in SIMBAD. The novae are all designated as M31N YYYY-MMa.
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