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Title: The 2011 outburst of recurrent nova T PYX: Radio observations reveal the ejecta mass and hint at complex mass loss

Despite being the prototype of its class, T Pyx is arguably the most unusual and poorly understood recurrent nova. Here, we use radio observations from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array to trace the evolution of the ejecta over the course of the 2011 outburst of T Pyx. The radio emission is broadly consistent with thermal emission from the nova ejecta. However, the radio flux began rising surprisingly late in the outburst, indicating that the bulk of the radio-emitting material was either very cold, or expanding very slowly, for the first ∼50 days of the outburst. Considering a plausible range of volume filling factors and geometries for the ejecta, we find that the high peak flux densities of the radio emission require a massive ejection of (1-30) × 10{sup –5} M {sub ☉}. This ejecta mass is much higher than the values normally associated with recurrent novae, and is more consistent with a nova on a white dwarf well below the Chandrasekhar limit.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ; ; ;  [3] ; ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, 116 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 (United States)
  3. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, P.O. Box O, Socorro, NM 87801 (United States)
  4. Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, Columbia University, New York, NY (United States)
  5. Center for Space Science and Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 21250 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22357142
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 785; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; EMISSION; EVOLUTION; FLUX DENSITY; MASS TRANSFER; NOVAE; STELLAR WINDS; WHITE DWARF STARS