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Title: A Hubble Space Telescope survey for Novae in M87. II. Snuffing out the maximum magnitude–rate of decline relation for novae as a non-standard candle, and a prediction of the existence of ultrafast novae

The extensive grid of numerical simulations of nova eruptions first predicted that some classical novae might significantly deviate from the Maximum Magnitude–Rate of Decline (MMRD) relation, which purports to characterize novae as standard candles. Kasliwal et al. have announced the observational detection of a new class of faint, fast classical novae in the Andromeda galaxy. These objects deviate strongly from the MMRD relationship, as predicted by Yaron et al. Recently, Shara et al. reported the first detections of faint, fast novae in M87. These previously overlooked objects are as common in the giant elliptical galaxy M87 as they are in the giant spiral M31; they comprise about 40% of all classical nova eruptions and greatly increase the observational scatter in the MMRD relation. We use the extensive grid of the nova simulations of Yaron et al. to identify the underlying causes of the existence of faint, fast novae. These are systems that have accreted, and can thus eject, only very low-mass envelopes, of the order of 10 –7–10 –8 M ⊙, on massive white dwarfs. Such binaries include, but are not limited to, the recurrent novae. As a result, these same models predict the existence of ultrafast novae that displaymore » decline times, t 2, to be as short as five hours. We outline a strategy for their future detection.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ; ORCiD logo [8] ; ORCiD logo [9] ;  [6] ; ORCiD logo [10] ;  [11]
  1. American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY (United States); Univ. of Cambridge, Cambridge (United Kingdom)
  2. American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY (United States); Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL (United States)
  3. National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, AZ (United States)
  4. American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY (United States)
  5. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  6. Tel Aviv Univ., Tel Aviv (Israel)
  7. CSIRO, Epping, NSW (Australia)
  8. Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw (Poland)
  9. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
  10. McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada)
  11. Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot (Israel)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 839; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab. (SLAC), Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; binaries: close – novae; cataclysmic variables
OSTI Identifier: