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First science with the Keck Interferometer Nuller: high spatial resolution N-band observations of the recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi

Barry, R. K. and Danchi, W. C. and Traub, W. and Kuchner, M. and Wisniewski, J. P. and Akeson, R. and Colavita, M. and Greenhouse, M. A. and Koresko, C. and Mennesson, B. and Serabyn, E. and Sokoloski, J. L. (2008) First science with the Keck Interferometer Nuller: high spatial resolution N-band observations of the recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi. In: Optical and Infrared Interferometry. Proceedings of SPIE. No.7013. Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 70130Q. ISBN 9780819472236.

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We report observations of the nova RS Ophiuchi using the Keck Interferometer Nuller (KIN) taken approximately 3.8 days following the most recent outburst that occurred on 2006 February 12. The KIN operates in N-band from 8 to 12.5 μm in a nulling mode. In this mode the stellar light is suppressed by a destructive fringe, effectively enhancing the contrast of the circumstellar material located near the star. In a second, constructive-fringe mode, the instrument detects primarily the light from the central, bright source. These are the outer and inner spatial regimes, respectively. We will describe the capabilities of the KIN, including these unique modes, and outline how they were key in our discovery that dust was created between nova events. We also show how these first results from the KIN are consistent with Spitzer data. The KIN data show evidence of enhanced neutral atomic hydrogen emission and atomic metals including silicon located in the inner spatial regime (< 4 AU from theWD) relative to the outer regime. There are also nebular emission lines and evidence of hot silicate dust in the outer spatial region, centered at approximately ~ 17 AU from the WD, that are not found in the inner regime. The KIN and Spitzer data suggest that these emissions were excited in the outer spatial regime before the blast wave reached these regions. We describe the present results in terms of a new model for dust creation in recurrent novae 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. These data show the power and potential of the nulling technique which has been developed for the detection of Earth-like planets around nearby stars for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Mission and Darwin missions.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Wisniewski, J. P.0000-0001-9209-1808
Akeson, R.0000-0001-9674-1564
Mennesson, B.0000-0003-4205-4800
Additional Information:© 2008 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). 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 JLS), 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. JPW 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.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
California Association for Research in AstronomyUNSPECIFIED
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for AstrophysicsG06-7022A
Goddard Space Flight CenterUNSPECIFIED
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Nulling interferometry, Keck Interferometer, recurrent novae, RS Ophiuchi, high angular resolution astronomy, dust formation, binary stars
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:7013
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191018-111227105
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:R. K. Barry, W. C. Danchi, W. Traub, M. Kuchner, J. P. Wisniewski, R. Akeson, M. Colavita, M. A. Greenhouse, C. Koresko, B. Mennesson, E. Serabyn, and J. L. Sokoloski "First science with the Keck Interferometer Nuller: high spatial resolution N-band observations of the recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi", Proc. SPIE 7013, Optical and Infrared Interferometry, 70130Q (28 July 2008);
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:99364
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:22 Oct 2019 22:36
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:46

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