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Galactic Extinction: How Many Novae Does It Hide and How Does It Affect the Galactic Nova Rate?

Kawash, A. and Chomiuk, L. and Rodriguez, J A. and Strader, J. and Sokolovsky, K. V. and Aydil, E. and Kochanek, C. S. and Stanek, K. Z. and Mukai, K. and De, K. and Shappee, B. and Holoien, T. W.-S. and Prieto, J. L. and Thompson, T. A. (2021) Galactic Extinction: How Many Novae Does It Hide and How Does It Affect the Galactic Nova Rate? Astrophysical Journal, 922 (1). Art. No. 25. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac1f1a.

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There is a long-standing discrepancy between the observed Galactic classical nova rate of ∼10 yr⁻¹ and the predicted rate from Galactic models of ∼30–50 yr⁻¹. One explanation for this discrepancy is that many novae are hidden by interstellar extinction, but the degree to which dust can obscure novae is poorly constrained. We use newly available all-sky three-dimensional dust maps to compare the brightness and spatial distribution of known novae to that predicted from relatively simple models in which novae trace Galactic stellar mass. We find that only half (53%) of the novae are expected to be easily detectable (g ≲ 15) with current all-sky optical surveys such as the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN). This fraction is much lower than previously estimated, showing that dust does substantially affect nova detection in the optical. By comparing complementary survey results from the ASAS-SN, OGLE-IV, and Palomar Gattini IR surveys using our modeling, we find a tentative Galactic nova rate of ∼30 yr⁻¹, though this could be as high as ∼40 yr⁻¹, depending on the assumed distribution of novae within the Galaxy. These preliminary estimates will be improved in future work through more sophisticated modeling of nova detection in ASAS-SN and other surveys.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Kawash, A.0000-0003-0071-1622
Chomiuk, L.0000-0002-8400-3705
Strader, J.0000-0002-1468-9668
Sokolovsky, K. V.0000-0001-5991-6863
Aydil, E.0000-0001-8525-3442
Kochanek, C. S.0000-0001-6017-2961
Mukai, K.0000-0002-8286-8094
De, K.0000-0002-8989-0542
Shappee, B.0000-0003-4631-1149
Holoien, T. W.-S.0000-0001-9206-3460
Prieto, J. L.0000-0003-1072-2712
Thompson, T. A.0000-0003-2377-9574
Additional Information:© 2021. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2021 May 27; revised 2021 August 17; accepted 2021 August 17; published 2021 November 16. We thank P. Mroz for providing data contributing to this work. We also thank Jo Bovy, D. J. Marshall, A. C. Robin, and I. T. Simion for helpful discussions and the referee for suggestions that substantially improved the paper. A.K., L.C., E.A., and K.V.S. acknowledge the financial support of NSF award AST-1751874 and a Cottrell fellowship of the Research Corporation. J.S. acknowledges support from the Packard Foundation. B.J.S., C.S.K., and K.Z.S. are supported by NSF grant AST-1907570. C.S.K. and K.Z.S. are supported by NSF grant AST-181440. We thank the Las Cumbres Observatory and its staff for their continuing support of the ASAS-SN project. The ASAS-SN is supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through grant GBMF5490 to the Ohio State University and NSF grants AST-1515927 and AST-1908570. Development of ASAS-SN has been supported by NSF grant AST-0908816, the Mt. Cuba Astronomical Foundation, the Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics at the Ohio State University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences South America Center for Astronomy (CAS-SACA), and the Villum Foundation. The analysis for this work was performed primarily in ipython (Perez & Granger 2007) using numpy (Oliphant 2006; Van Der Walt et al. 2011), Astropy (Price-Whelan et al. 2018), Matplotlib (Hunter 2007), and scipy (Virtanen et al. 2020).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Cottrell Scholar of Research CorporationUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationGBMF5490
Mt. Cuba Astronomical FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP)UNSPECIFIED
Chinese Academy of Sciences South America Center for Astronomy (CASSACA)UNSPECIFIED
Villum FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Classical novae; Cataclysmic variable stars; Novae; White dwarf stars
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Classical novae (251); Cataclysmic variable stars (203); Novae (1127); White dwarf stars (1799)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210603-122537917
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:A. Kawash et al 2021 ApJ 922 25
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109371
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:03 Jun 2021 21:47
Last Modified:23 Nov 2021 17:03

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