Astrophys. J., 725, 831-841 (2010/December-2)
An extended grid of nova models. III. Very luminous, red novae.
SHARA M.M., YARON O., PRIALNIK D., KOVETZ A. and ZUREK D.
Abstract (from CDS):
Extremely luminous, red eruptive variables like RV in M31 are being suggested as exemplars of a new class of astrophysical objects. Our greatly extended series of nova simulations shows that classical nova models can produce very red, luminous eruptions. In a poorly studied corner of three-dimensional nova parameter space (very cold, low-mass white dwarfs, accreting at very low rates) we find bona fide classical novae that are very luminous and red because they eject very slowly moving, massive envelopes. A crucial prediction of these nova models–in contrast to the predictions of merging star ("mergeburst") models–is that a hot remnant, the underlying white dwarf, will emerge after the massive ejected envelope has expanded enough to become optically thin. This blue remnant must fade on a timescale of decades–much faster than a "mergeburst," which must fade on timescales of millennia or longer. Furthermore, the cooling nova white dwarf and its expanding ejecta must become redder in the years after eruption, while a contracting mergeburst must become hotter and bluer. We predict that red novae will always brighten to L ∼ 1000 L☉ for about one year before rising to the maximum luminosity at L ∼ 106-107 L☉. The maximum luminosity attainable by a nova is likely to be L ∼ 107 L☉, corresponding to M ∼ -12. In an accompanying paper, we describe a fading, luminous blue candidate for the remnant of M31-RV; it is observed with the Hubble Space Telescope to be compatible only with the nova model.
accretion, accretion disks - binaries: close - novae, cataclysmic variables - white dwarfs
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