AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 44 Cataclysmic Variables, Novae
Poster, Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

[Previous] | [Session 44] | [Next]

[44.14] The H\alpha Light Curves and Spatial Distribution of Novae in M81

J. D. Neill (Columbia University), M. M. Shara (American Museum of Natural History)

We present the results of a preliminary H\alpha survey of M81 for novae conducted over a 5 month interval using the 5' field of view camera (WFCAM) on the Calypso Telescope at Kitt Peak, AZ. We observed M81 nearly every clear night during this interval, covering the entire galaxy, and discovered 12 novae. Our comprehensive time coverage allowed us to produce the most complete set of H\alpha light curves for novae in M81 to date. A raw nova rate for M81 gives 29 yr-1 which, because of the nature of our survey, is a hard lower limit. An analysis of the completeness in our survey gives a corrected nova rate of 39 yr-1. This agrees well with the rate of 33+13-8 yr-1, derived from Monte Carlo simulations using nova light curves and survey plate limits. The spatial distribution of the novae we discovered is strongly concentrated toward the bulge of M81 and supports the idea that novae primarily originate in an older stellar population.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: neill@astro.columbia.edu

[Previous] | [Session 44] | [Next]

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.