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A Hubble Space Telescope survey for novae in M87 – III. Are novae good standard candles 15 d after maximum brightness?

Shara, Michael M. and Doyle, Trisha F. and Pagnotta, Ashley and Garland, James T. and Lauer, Tod R. and Zurek, David and Baltz, Edward A. and Goerl, Ariel and Kovetz, Attay and Machac, Tamara and Madrid, Juan P. and Mikołajewska, Joanna and Neill, J. D. and Prialnik, Dina and Welch, D. L. and Yaron, Ofer (2018) A Hubble Space Telescope survey for novae in M87 – III. Are novae good standard candles 15 d after maximum brightness? Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 474 (2). pp. 1746-1751. ISSN 0035-8711. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180301-132802268

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Abstract

Ten weeks of daily imaging of the giant elliptical galaxy M87 with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has yielded 41 nova light curves of unprecedented quality for extragalactic cataclysmic variables. We have recently used these light curves to demonstrate that the observational scatter in the so-called maximum-magnitude rate of decline (MMRD) relation for classical novae is so large as to render the nova-MMRD useless as a standard candle. Here, we demonstrate that a modified Buscombe–de Vaucouleurs hypothesis, namely that novae with decline times t_2 > 10 d converge to nearly the same absolute magnitude about two weeks after maximum light in a giant elliptical galaxy, is supported by our M87 nova data. For 13 novae with daily sampled light curves, well determined times of maximum light in both the F606W and F814W filters, and decline times t_2 > 10 d we find that M87 novae display M_(606W,15) = −6.37 ± 0.46 and M_(814W,15) = −6.11 ± 0.43. If very fast novae with decline times t_2 < 10 d are excluded, the distances to novae in elliptical galaxies with stellar binary populations similar to those of M87 should be determinable with 1σ accuracies of ± 20 per cent with the above calibrations.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx2873DOIArticle
https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article/474/2/1746/4636550PublisherArticle
https://arxiv.org/abs/1702.06988arXivDiscussion Paper
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Doyle, Trisha F.0000-0001-7182-5307
Neill, J. D.0000-0002-0466-1119
Additional Information:© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2017 November 3. Received 2017 November 1; in original form 2017 July 25. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the STScI team responsible for ensuring timely and accurate implementation of our M87 programme. Support for programme #10543 was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. This research has been partly supported by the Polish NCN grant DEC-2013/10/M/ST9/00086. MMS gratefully acknowledges the support of Ethel Lipsitz and the late Hilary Lipsitz, longtime friends of the AMNH Astrophysics department. AP, AG and TM gratefully acknowledge the support of the Richard Guilder Graduate School of the American Museum of Natural History. JTG thanks the Science Research and Mentoring Programme of the American Museum of Natural History for the opportunity to participate in the research described in this paper. We thank an anonymous referee for a thorough and careful review, which improved the paper substantially.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA10543
NASANAS 5-26555
National Science Center (Poland)DEC-2013/10/M/ST9/00086
American Museum of Natural HistoryUNSPECIFIED
Space Telescope Science InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:techniques: imaging spectroscopy, novae, cataclysmic variables
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180301-132802268
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180301-132802268
Official Citation:Michael M. Shara, Trisha F. Doyle, Ashley Pagnotta, James T. Garland, Tod R. Lauer, David Zurek, Edward A. Baltz, Ariel Goerl, Attay Kovetz, Tamara Machac, Juan P. Madrid, Joanna Mikołajewska, J. D. Neill, Dina Prialnik, D. L. Welch, Ofer Yaron; A Hubble Space Telescope survey for novae in M87 – III. Are novae good standard candles 15 d after maximum brightness?, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 474, Issue 2, 21 February 2018, Pages 1746–1751, https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx2873
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:85042
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:01 Mar 2018 21:50
Last Modified:01 Mar 2018 21:50

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