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Title: A Hubble Space Telescope survey for novae in M87.I. light and color curves, spatial distributions, and the nova rate

The Hubble Space Telescope has imaged the central part of M87 over a 10 week span, leading to the discovery of 32 classical novae (CNe) and nine fainter, likely very slow, and/or symbiotic novae. In this first paper of a series, we present the M87 nova finder charts, and the light and color curves of the novae. We demonstrate that the rise and decline times, and the colors of M87 novae are uncorrelated with each other and with position in the galaxy. The spatial distribution of the M87 novae follows the light of the galaxy, suggesting that novae accreted by M87 during cannibalistic episodes are well-mixed. Conservatively using only the 32 brightest CNe we derive a nova rate for M87: $${363}_{-45}^{+33}$$ novae yr–1. We also derive the luminosity-specific classical nova rate for this galaxy, which is $${7.88}_{-2.6}^{+2.3}\,{\mathrm{yr}}^{-1}/{10}^{10}\,{L}_{\odot }{,}_{K}$$. Both rates are 3–4 times higher than those reported for M87 in the past, and similarly higher than those reported for all other galaxies. As a result, we suggest that most previous ground-based surveys for novae in external galaxies, including M87, miss most faint, fast novae, and almost all slow novae near the centers of galaxies.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [4] ;  [5] ; ORCiD logo [6] ; ORCiD logo [7] ;  [8]
  1. American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), New York, NY (United States)
  2. American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), New York, NY (United States); Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL (United States)
  3. National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), Tuscon, AZ (United States)
  4. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
  5. CSIRO, Sydney (Australia)
  6. Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw (Poland)
  7. McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada)
  8. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1348411
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal. Supplement Series (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal. Supplement Series (Online); Journal Volume: 227; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4365
Publisher:
American Astronomical Society/IOP
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; binaries: close; novae; cataclysmic variables