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Discovering novae in early-type galaxies with MUSE: A chance find in NGC 1404, and 12 more candidates from an archival search

Smith, Russell J

Discovering novae in early-type galaxies with MUSE: A chance find in NGC 1404, and 12 more candidates from an archival search Thumbnail


Authors



Abstract

I report the discovery of a transient broad-Hα point source in the outskirts of the giant elliptical galaxy NGC 1404, discovered in archival observations taken with the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) integral field spectrograph. The Hα line width of 1950 km s−1 full width at half-maximum, and luminosity of (4.1 ± 0.1) × 1036 erg s−1, are consistent with a nova outburst, and the source is not visible in MUSE data obtained 9 months later. A transient soft X-ray source was detected at the same position (within <1 arcsec), 14 yr before the Hα transient. If the X-ray and Hα emission are from the same object, the source may be a short-time-scale recurrent nova with a massive white dwarf accretor, and hence a possible Type-Ia supernova progenitor. Selecting broad-Hα point sources in MUSE archival observations for a set of nearby early-type galaxies, I discovered 12 more nova candidates with similar properties to the NGC 1404 source, including five in NGC 1380 and four in NGC 4365. Multi-epoch data are available for four of these twelve sources; all four are confirmed to be transient on ∼1 yr time-scales, supporting their identification as novae.

Citation

Smith, R. J. (2020). Discovering novae in early-type galaxies with MUSE: A chance find in NGC 1404, and 12 more candidates from an archival search. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, 494(1), L1-L5. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnrasl/slaa023

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 3, 2020
Online Publication Date Feb 7, 2020
Publication Date May 30, 2020
Deposit Date Mar 5, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 13, 2020
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Electronic ISSN 1745-3933
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 494
Issue 1
Pages L1-L5
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/mnrasl/slaa023
Related Public URLs https://arxiv.org/abs/2001.08221

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Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2020 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.







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