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Title: A Hubble Space Telescope survey for novae in M87 – III. Are novae good standard candles 15 d after maximum brightness?

Abstract

Ten weeks of daily imaging of the giant elliptical galaxy M87 with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has yielded 41 nova light curves of unprecedented quality for extragalactic cataclysmic variables. We have recently used these light curves to demonstrate that the observational scatter in the so-called maximum-magnitude rate of decline (MMRD) relation for classical novae is so large as to render the nova-MMRD useless as a standard candle. Here in this paper, we demonstrate that a modified Buscombe–de Vaucouleurs hypothesis, namely that novae with decline times t2 > 10 d converge to nearly the same absolute magnitude about two weeks after maximum light in a giant elliptical galaxy, is supported by our M87 nova data. For 13 novae with daily sampled light curves, well determined times of maximum light in both the F606W and F814W filters, and decline times t 2 > 10 d we find that M87 novae display M606W,15 = -6.37 ± 0.46 and M814W,15 = -6.11 ± 0.43. If very fast novae with decline times t 2 < 10 d are excluded, the distances to novae in elliptical galaxies with stellar binary populations similar to those of M87 should be determinable with 1σ accuracies of ± 20more » percent with the above calibrations.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [3];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [9];  [10];  [11];  [12];  [13];  [14];  [15]
  1. American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY (United States). Dept. of Astrophysics; Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom). Inst. of Astronomy
  2. Florida Inst. of Technology, Melbourne, FL (United States). Physics and Space Sciences Dept.
  3. American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY (United States). Dept. of Astrophysics
  4. Professional Children's School, New York, NY (United States)
  5. National Optical Astronomy Observatories, Tucson, AZ (United States)
  6. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States). Kavli Inst. for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology
  7. Booker T. Washington Middle School, New York, NY (United States)
  8. Tel Aviv Univ., Ramat Aviv (Israel). School of Physics and Astronomy, Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences
  9. Packer Collegiate Inst., Brooklyn, NY (United States)
  10. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Epping, NSW (Australia). Astronomy and Space Science
  11. Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS), Warsaw (Poland). N. Copernicus Astronomical Center
  12. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
  13. Tel Aviv Univ., Ramat Aviv (Israel). Dept. of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences, Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences
  14. McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada). Dept. of Physics & Astronomy
  15. Weizmann Inst. of Science, Rehovot (Israel). Dept. of Particle Physics and Astrophysics
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA)
OSTI Identifier:
1426168
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-76SF00515; DEC-2013/10/M/ST9/00086; NAS 5-26555
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 474; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0035-8711
Publisher:
Royal Astronomical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; techniques: imaging spectroscopy; novae; cataclysmic variables

Citation Formats

Shara, Michael M., Doyle, Trisha F., Pagnotta, Ashley, Garland, James T., Lauer, Tod R., Zurek, David, Baltz, Edward A., Goerl, Ariel, Kovetz, Attay, Machac, Tamara, Madrid, Juan P., Mikołajewska, Joanna, Neill, J. D., Prialnik, Dina, Welch, D. L., and Yaron, Ofer. A Hubble Space Telescope survey for novae in M87 – III. Are novae good standard candles 15 d after maximum brightness?. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1093/mnras/stx2873.
Shara, Michael M., Doyle, Trisha F., Pagnotta, Ashley, Garland, James T., Lauer, Tod R., Zurek, David, Baltz, Edward A., Goerl, Ariel, Kovetz, Attay, Machac, Tamara, Madrid, Juan P., Mikołajewska, Joanna, Neill, J. D., Prialnik, Dina, Welch, D. L., & Yaron, Ofer. A Hubble Space Telescope survey for novae in M87 – III. Are novae good standard candles 15 d after maximum brightness?. United States. doi:10.1093/mnras/stx2873.
Shara, Michael M., Doyle, Trisha F., Pagnotta, Ashley, Garland, James T., Lauer, Tod R., Zurek, David, Baltz, Edward A., Goerl, Ariel, Kovetz, Attay, Machac, Tamara, Madrid, Juan P., Mikołajewska, Joanna, Neill, J. D., Prialnik, Dina, Welch, D. L., and Yaron, Ofer. Thu . "A Hubble Space Telescope survey for novae in M87 – III. Are novae good standard candles 15 d after maximum brightness?". United States. doi:10.1093/mnras/stx2873.
@article{osti_1426168,
title = {A Hubble Space Telescope survey for novae in M87 – III. Are novae good standard candles 15 d after maximum brightness?},
author = {Shara, Michael M. and Doyle, Trisha F. and Pagnotta, Ashley and Garland, James T. and Lauer, Tod R. and Zurek, David and Baltz, Edward A. and Goerl, Ariel and Kovetz, Attay and Machac, Tamara and Madrid, Juan P. and Mikołajewska, Joanna and Neill, J. D. and Prialnik, Dina and Welch, D. L. and Yaron, Ofer},
abstractNote = {Ten weeks of daily imaging of the giant elliptical galaxy M87 with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has yielded 41 nova light curves of unprecedented quality for extragalactic cataclysmic variables. We have recently used these light curves to demonstrate that the observational scatter in the so-called maximum-magnitude rate of decline (MMRD) relation for classical novae is so large as to render the nova-MMRD useless as a standard candle. Here in this paper, we demonstrate that a modified Buscombe–de Vaucouleurs hypothesis, namely that novae with decline times t2 > 10 d converge to nearly the same absolute magnitude about two weeks after maximum light in a giant elliptical galaxy, is supported by our M87 nova data. For 13 novae with daily sampled light curves, well determined times of maximum light in both the F606W and F814W filters, and decline times t2 > 10 d we find that M87 novae display M606W,15 = -6.37 ± 0.46 and M814W,15 = -6.11 ± 0.43. If very fast novae with decline times t2 < 10 d are excluded, the distances to novae in elliptical galaxies with stellar binary populations similar to those of M87 should be determinable with 1σ accuracies of ± 20 percent with the above calibrations.},
doi = {10.1093/mnras/stx2873},
journal = {Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society},
number = 2,
volume = 474,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Nov 16 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Thu Nov 16 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

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