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AT Cnc: A Second Dwarf Nova with a Classical Nova Shell

Shara, Michael M. and Mizusawa, Trisha and Wehinger, Peter and Zurek, David and Martin, Christopher D. and Neill, James D. and Forster, Karl and Seibert, Mark (2012) AT Cnc: A Second Dwarf Nova with a Classical Nova Shell. Astrophysical Journal, 758 (2). Art. No. 121. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/758/2/121.

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We are systematically surveying all known and suspected Z Cam-type dwarf novae for classical nova shells. This survey is motivated by the discovery of the largest known classical nova shell, which surrounds the archetypal dwarf nova Z Camelopardalis. The Z Cam shell demonstrates that at least some dwarf novae must have undergone classical nova eruptions in the past, and that at least some classical novae become dwarf novae long after their nova thermonuclear outbursts, in accord with the hibernation scenario of cataclysmic binaries. Here we report the detection of a fragmented "shell," 3 arcmin in diameter, surrounding the dwarf nova AT Cancri. This second discovery demonstrates that nova shells surrounding Z Cam-type dwarf novae cannot be very rare. The shell geometry is suggestive of bipolar, conical ejection seen nearly pole-on. A spectrum of the brightest AT Cnc shell knot is similar to that of the ejecta of the classical nova GK Per, and of Z Cam, dominated by [N II] emission. Galaxy Evolution Explorer FUV imagery reveals a similar-sized, FUV-emitting shell. We determine a distance of 460 pc to AT Cnc, and an upper limit to its ejecta mass of ~5 × 10^(–5) M_☉, typical of classical novae.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Mizusawa, Trisha0000-0001-7182-5307
Martin, Christopher D.0000-0002-8650-1644
Neill, James D.0000-0002-0466-1119
Forster, Karl0000-0001-5800-5531
Seibert, Mark0000-0002-1143-5515
Additional Information:© 2012 American Astronomical Society. Received 2012 July 31; accepted 2012 August 23; published 2012 October 8. Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) is a NASA Small Explorer, launched in 2003 April. We gratefully acknowledge NASA’s support for construction, operation, and science analysis for the GALEX mission. M.M.S. gratefully acknowledges helpful conversations about AT Cnc and dwarf nova shells with Howard Bond and Christian Knigge.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory, Space Astrophysics Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:novae, cataclysmic variables; stars: individual (AT Cancri)
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121210-100445844
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:AT Cnc: A Second Dwarf Nova with a Classical Nova Shell Michael M. Shara, Trisha Mizusawa, Peter Wehinger, David Zurek, Christopher D. Martin, James D. Neill, Karl Forster, and Mark Seibert doi:10.1088/0004-637X/758/2/121
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35892
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:10 Dec 2012 18:21
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:18

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