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T.A. Rector (NOAO), G.H. Jacoby (NOAO), D.L. Corbett (Arizona), M. Denham (Arizona), RBSE Nova Search Team
We present the initial results of a program currently underway to search for nova in local group galaxies with the KPNO 0.9-meter telescope. The long-term goal is to accurately determine if the nova rate varies for galaxies of different Hubble type. Ciardullo et al. claim that nova rates are very similar when normalized to the total galaxy K-band luminosity. However, Della Valle et al. claim the rates are different by up to a factor of four, with early-type galaxies being deficient in novae. Here we present novae found from eighteen epochs of observations of the bulge of M31. The observations span from September 1995 to July 1999.
The results presented here are part of an NSF-funded research-based science education program (RBSE) operated by NOAO, wherein middle- and high-school science students learn astronomy and inquiry-based learning skills by participating in actual research. The novae presented here were discovered by students participating in the RBSE program.