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Milliarcsecond N-Band Observations of the Nova RS Ophiuchi: First Science with the Keck Interferometer Nuller

Barry, R. K. and Danchi, W. C. and Traub, W. A. and Sokoloski, J. L. and Wisniewski, J. P. and Serabyn, E. and Kuchner, M. J. and Akeson, R. and Appleby, E. and Bell, J. and Booth, A. and Brandenburg, H. and Colavita, M. and Crawford, S. and Creech-Eakman, M. and Dahl, W. and Felizardo, C. and Garcia, J. and Gathright, J. and Greenhouse, M. A. and Herstein, J. and Hovland, E. and Hrynevych, M. and Koresko, C. and Ligon, R. and Mennesson, B. and Millan-Gabet, R. and Morrison, D. and Palmer, D. and Panteleeva, T. and Ragland, S. and Shao, M. and Smythe, R. and Summers, K. and Swain, M. and Tsubota, K. and Tyau, C. and Wetherell, E. and Wizinowich, P. and Woillez, J. and Vasisht, G. (2008) Milliarcsecond N-Band Observations of the Nova RS Ophiuchi: First Science with the Keck Interferometer Nuller. Astrophysical Journal, 677 (2). pp. 1253-1267. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1086/529422.

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We report observations of the nova RS Ophiuchi (RS Oph) using the Keck Interferometer Nuller (KIN), approximately 3.8 days following the most recent outburst that occurred on 2006 February 12. These observations represent the first scientific results from the KIN, which operates in N band from 8 to 12.5 μm in a nulling mode. The nulling technique is the sparse aperture equivalent of the conventional coronagraphic technique used in filled aperture telescopes. In this mode the stellar light itself is suppressed by a destructive fringe, effectively enhancing the contrast of the circumstellar material located near the star. By fitting the unique KIN data, we have obtained an angular size of the mid-infrared continuum emitting material of 6.2, 4.0, or 5.4 mas for a disk profile, Gaussian profile (FWHM), and shell profile, respectively. The data show evidence of enhanced neutral atomic hydrogen emission and atomic metals including silicon located in the inner spatial regime near the white dwarf (WD) relative to the outer regime. There are also nebular emission lines and evidence of hot silicate dust in the outer spatial region, centered at ~17 AU from the WD, that are not found in the inner regime. Our evidence suggests that these features have been excited by the nova flash in the outer spatial regime before the blast wave reached these regions. These identifications support a model in which the dust appears to be present between outbursts and is not created during the outburst event. We further discuss the present results in terms of a unifying model of the system that includes an increase in density in the plane of the orbit of the two stars created by a spiral shock wave caused by the motion of the stars through the cool wind of the red giant star.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Wisniewski, J. P.0000-0001-9209-1808
Kuchner, M. J.0000-0002-2387-5489
Akeson, R.0000-0001-9674-1564
Garcia, J.0000-0003-3828-2448
Mennesson, B.0000-0003-4205-4800
Millan-Gabet, R.0000-0003-0447-5866
Wizinowich, P.0000-0002-1646-442X
Vasisht, G.0000-0002-1871-6264
Additional Information:© 2008 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2007 August 9; accepted 2008 January 9. We are grateful to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the California Association for Research in Astronomy, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (including SAO grant G06-7022A to J. L. S.), and to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center for support of this research. The data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. J. P. W. acknowledges support provided by an NPP Fellowship (NNH06CC03B) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. This work has made use of services produced by the Michelson Science Center at the California Institute of Technology. One of the authors (R. K. B.) would also like to acknowledge Eugene E. Rudd formerly of the United States Naval Research Laboratory for his continued support and encouragement. The authors thank the referee, Michael Bode, for his careful and thorough review of the manuscript, which has helped us to significantly improve it. Facilities: Spitzer, IOTA, Keck:I, Keck:II.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
California Association for Research in AstronomyUNSPECIFIED
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for AstrophysicsG06-7022A
Subject Keywords:novae, cataclysmic variables; stars : dwarf novae; stars : individual (HD 162214, RS Ophiuchi); techniques : interferometric; techniques : high angular resolution
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090924-160333378
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Official Citation:Milliarcsecond N-Band Observations of the Nova RS Ophiuchi: First Science with the Keck Interferometer Nuller R. K. Barry, W. C. Danchi, W. A. Traub, J. L. Sokoloski, J. P. Wisniewski, E. Serabyn, M. J. Kuchner, R. Akeson, E. Appleby, J. Bell, A. Booth, H. Brandenburg, M. Colavita, S. Crawford, M. Creech-Eakman, W. Dahl, C. Felizardo, J. Garcia, J. Gathright, M. A. Greenhouse, J. Herstein, E. Hovland, M. Hrynevych, C. Koresko, R. Ligon, B. Mennesson, R. Millan-Gabet, D. Morrison, D. Palmer, T. Panteleeva, S. Ragland, M. Shao, R. Smythe, K. Summers, M. Swain, K. Tsubota, C. Tyau, E. Wetherell, P. Wizinowich, J. Woillez, and G. Vasisht 2008 ApJ 677 1253-1267 doi: 10.1086/529422.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:16043
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Oct 2009 21:37
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 23:24

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