AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 63 Exploding Stars
Poster, Wednesday, June 2, 2004, 10:00am-7:00pm, Ballroom

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[63.04] The Early Evolution of the Very Slow FeII Nova V475 Sct

G.S. Stringfellow (CASA, University of Colorado), F.M. Walter (SUNY-Stony Brook)

As part of our ongoing intensive observing campaign on select novae, we report the evolutionary progression of V475 Sct (Nova Scuti 2003) during its first 7 months. V475 Sct was discovered on 2003 August 28.58 at 8.5mag (IAUC 8190) near peak brightness, and subsequently classified as a Fe II nova (IAUC 8191, 8199). Our primary program involves photometric imaging at UBVRI-JHK and medium to low resolution spectra in the optical. We obtained temporal coverage of the photometric light curves on an approximate nightly basis, and roughly weekly for spectral coverage. The nova evolved very slowly, and though the light curve is complex, the nova did not finally fade below 3 mag until ~110 days after peak brightness. The early optical spectra display a rich forest of low-ionization, narrow emission lines with narrow, sharp P-Cygni profiles superimposed on hydrogen and other lines. As the outburst continued over the next 4 weeks , the lines blended and broadened as the base of the photospheric wind receded toward the hot surface of the white dwarf. On September 2 the FWZI of the H\alpha emission line width was only ~40Å, but progressively increased to ~100Å by Oct 21. Thus, the velocity increased from ~900 km/s to ~2300 km/s during this period. By 2003 Sep 26 the emission lines of the Fe II (42) multiplet became equal in strength to \rm H\beta, and had similar line widths and shapes. Very weak [O I] was apparent by this time and displayed similar saddle-shape line structure that had begun to develop in the \rm H\alpha line. [O I] increased in strength in subsequent weeks and continued to reflect the changing line structure seen in \rm H\alpha, which became more prominent over the next month. By early 2004 March very strong lines of [O III] had developed, and [N II] is present though weaker. Weaker helium lines are also beginning to emerge. Several weeks later in March the [O III] line strength surpassed that of H\alpha. These and further details are presented and discussed.

The research efforts of GSS on novae are supported by NASA Grant NAG5-11963. We also gratefully acknowledge the technical support and observing time obtained through the SMARTS consortium.

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